the keys of the law beyond casualties for painful rules

The reform of the abortion law begins its process this Tuesday after passing through the table of the Council of Ministers. Since the draft of the Ministry of Equality was leaked last week, several texts have circulated in the midst of the crossing of declarations between the coalition partners and an open negotiation until a few days before approval. The norm leaves things along the way that the Ministry of Equality did include at first, as the reduction of VAT to the products for the period, but the Government has reached an agreement to regulate the so-called disabling lows due to painful menstruations. Even so, it can still be modified during the process.

The invisible poverty that hides behind the taboo of the rule

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These are its most outstanding measures:

access to abortion

The law maintains the terms for abortion that the 2020 rule already inaugurated: free until week 14, until week 22 for medical reasons and without limit if serious anomalies incompatible with life are detected and as long as it is determined by a clinical committee. In addition, this area includes:

Guarantee abortions in public centers

The Government's idea is to change the model, by which currently up to 85% of abortions are performed in private clinics. For this, it is established as a requirement that the interventions be carried out "in a public health center" and only "exceptionally" in an accredited private one. What is not clear is whether the woman will be able to choose between the pharmacological or surgical method.

It also regulates the conscientious objection of professionals so that it can never be an obstacle and the communities are forced to create a register of objectors and that there are always enough professionals in public services to carry out the service. He emphasizes that the objection is an individual right, but whoever declares it will be so for both the private and public spheres.

In an attempt to put an end to geographical discrimination, for which thousands of women a year must move of province to be able to have an abortion, the rule reinforces the principle of territorial equity and establishes that the administrations must guarantee access to the provision "according to an adequate geographical distribution, accessible and in sufficient number". If they cannot carry it out in their area, they can refer women, but always "in the best conditions of proximity to their home".

The three days of reflection are eliminated

The 2010 law established a cooling-off period of three days as a requirement to have an abortion, which is now eliminated with this reform. This means that women will no longer have to wait for this minimum period once the decision has been made and reaffirm it.

Maternity envelopes will be an option

It also eliminates the requirement that women receive a sealed envelope with information on rights, benefits and public aid to support motherhood, the content of which is directed in some communities even to anti-abortion associations. It will only be received in the event that the woman so requires.

Right to abortion from 16 without consent

The right of 16 and 17-year-old girls to interrupt their pregnancy without parental consent is restored seven years after the Popular Party amend the 2010 law to remove it. It was the first reform made to the law, in 2015and after the attempt by Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón to restrict the right beyond what the 1985 law contemplated in its day. The popular ones encountered strong social opposition that made him back down, but he did introduce the change of the minors.

inability to abort

A special temporary incapacity for the voluntary interruption of pregnancy is incorporated. Comprehensive care and specialized support must be guaranteed for women who undergo the intervention.

period health

The right to menstrual health is recognized for the first time in a law "as an inherent part of the right to sexual and reproductive health." The Ministry of Health will have to establish health care standards for menstrual health and the public authorities will have to "combat" stereotypes about menstruation "that have a negative impact on the exercise of the human rights of women, adolescents and girls."

sick leave due to painful periods

They are configured as a type of special temporary disability that, like any sick leave, must be granted and be under medical supervision. There will be no day limit, they will be financed from the first day by Social Security and will not require a minimum contribution period, unlike common illnesses. What is not yet clear is which women can access them and if it is necessary for them to have a previously diagnosed pathology.

Distribution of menstrual products

Educational centers must guarantee access to products for the rule "when necessary", specifies the law. They will also be distributed free of charge in social service centers and prisons. Progressively, all dependencies of public organizations must adopt this measure. Sustainable, organic and eco-friendly menstrual management products will be prioritized.

Sex education

Content in the classrooms

In the educational field, training in sexual and reproductive health is established as part of the curriculum throughout compulsory education and taught by professionals trained for it.

menstrual education

The law specifically addresses menstrual education, which must be addressed in a "comprehensive" manner in the classroom to try to combat "myths, prejudices and gender stereotypes around menstrual stigma," reads the text.

Campaigns and a telephone line

Another of the gaps that the standard plans to cover is the lack of information on sexual and reproductive rights. The Government's text provides for the generation of information on the itinerary for abortion, promoting the positioning on the Internet of information on public centers that provide the service, the launch of awareness campaigns, including those related to the prevention of intentional transmission of STDs. The creation of a telephone line specializing in sexual and reproductive rights is also planned.

Contraception and sexual health

Contraceptive financing

Funding for hormonal contraceptives, including long-acting reversible methods, will be guaranteed. Currently, there is a huge disparity between autonomous communities and the methods they finance.

morning after pill

The free supply of emergency contraception is guaranteed in health centers and specialized sexual and reproductive health services.


The public powers must implement public policies aimed at "co-responsibility in contraception" with the aim that it be considered a matter of public health and not an exclusive burden of women. Within a year, the Ministry of Health and Equality must specify the measures, although the investigation and, where appropriate, the marketing of contraceptives for men are already explained.

Condom distribution

The free distribution of condoms in specialized centers, social services and in prisons is included within one year, and it is established that educational centers “may distribute them” during the sexual education campaigns they carry out.

Protection in the gynecological and obstetric field

The norm rules out naming obstetric violence and is limited to guaranteeing good practices during gynecological care, pregnancy and childbirth, reducing interventionism and avoiding unnecessary and inappropriate practices or those without the prior consent of the woman, except in cases where life be at risk. The objective is to reinforce respected childbirth.

data collection

Studies will be promoted to find out the state of the issue of gynecological and obstetric violence and data will be collected periodically from the information provided by hospitals.

a common protocol

The rule mandates the Interterritorial Health Council to approve a common protocol of actions for the health sector. The communities will also have to encourage hospitals to adopt their own specific protocols against obstetric violence. The Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy must include a section in this regard.

Low at week 39

A reinforced prepartum leave has been included from week 39, the last week of pregnancy. The initial intention of the Ministry of Equality is that it will begin when the 36th week is completed.

Violence in the field of sexual and reproductive health

The law defines forced abortion, sterilization and contraception as forms of violence against women. In the field of surrogacy, it is planned to promote institutional campaigns that focus on its illegality in Spain. In addition, advertising in the media whose purpose is the commercial promotion of this practice will be considered illegal.

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