Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Spain proposes bill liberalising abortion and introducing paid menstrual leave

Women walk towards an office building in Madrid, Spain (Paul White/AP)
Women walk towards an office building in Madrid, Spain (Paul White/AP)

The Spanish government approved a draft bill that widens abortion rights for teenagers and may make Spain the first country in Europe entitling workers to paid menstrual leave.

The measures are part of a package of proposals that will be sent to the Spanish parliament for debate.

The package includes an extension of abortion rights, scrapping the requirement for 16- and 17-year-olds to obtain parental consent before terminating a pregnancy.

The Spanish move comes just as the US Supreme Court appears poised to reverse that country’s constitutional right to abortion, in place for nearly a half-century.

Spanish government spokeswoman Isabel Rodriguez said the proposals represented “a new step forward for women, a new step forward for democracy”.

The Spanish government also proposes giving workers who are experiencing period pain as much time off as they need, with the state social security system, not employers, paying for sick leave.

As with any other temporary medical incapacity, a doctor must sign off on the health problem.

The driving force behind the law is the junior member of Spain’s left-wing coalition government, the United We Can Party.

It was not immediately clear whether the Socialist-led coalition has enough support in parliament to pass the proposed legislation, which could take months.

The government, which came to power almost four years ago, has made women’s rights one of its political banners.

Spain Women’s Rights
People take part in a protest against abortion and euthanasia in Madrid, Spain (Paul White/PA)

The Cabinet has 14 women and eight men in ministerial positions.

Abortion on demand is permitted in Spain through the 14th week of pregnancy.

The draft bill also scraps the requirement of a three-day waiting period between requesting an abortion and the pregnancy being terminated.

The latest generation of contraceptive pills, including morning-after pills, are to be provided free of charge by the national health service under the proposals.

They currently cost up to 20 euros at pharmacies, according to the government.

Spanish equality minister Irene Montero says if the proposals are approved by politicians, Spain will be the first European country to grant paid sick leave for period pains.

“The days of (women) going to work in pain are over,” Ms Montero said, adding that government institutions had to “discard taboos, stigmas and guilt regarding women’s bodies”.

She expressed support for feminist movements fighting for abortion rights in the United States and Poland, as well as in Chile, Argentina and Colombia.

Government officials have said that slight discomfort would not qualify women for menstrual leave.

The proposed law targets more serious symptoms, such as diarrhoea, fever and bad headaches, they say.

The proposals stirred debate over whether the menstrual leave measure would help or hinder women in the workplace, with some fearing women could be stigmatised.

Some private companies in Europe have voluntarily adopted period policies.

Parts of Asia, ranging from Japan to South Korea, have long had menstrual leave rules, though the extent to which they are used has been debated.

Italy considered the idea in 2016, proposing a bill that would have provided three fully paid days off to workers who obtained medical certificates.

The proposal failed to progress before the parliamentary term ran out in 2018.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]