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The Spanish government has passed a new draft law on abortion and menstrual leave.
In it, access to contraception will be free and women over the age of 16 will be able to have an abortion. Women over the age of 16 will also have the option to take time off for painful periods.
According to a report by INews, this makes Spain the first European country to give women time off if they suffer painful periods.
The law which awaits final approval by MPs, is designed to make sure that abortion is accessibe to all using the public health system.
It also aims to ensure that menstruation is treated like a proper health issue.
Speaking on the importance of the reform, Spain’s Equality Minister Irene Montero said that the “days of [women] going to work in pain are over”.
Commenting on the proposed laws around menstrual leave, Spain’s Socialist Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said that: “The government will not take any measure that stigmatises women”. She said too that the reform was still “under discussion”.
About a third of women in Spain experience dysmenorrhea, or painful menstruation, according to the Spanish Gynaecological and Obstetric Society.
The legislation will also replace a 2015 reform of abortion law that requires women aged 16 and 17 to obtain parental consent for abortions.
Abortion on demand is permitted to the 14th week of pregnancy but the draft law scraps a three-day period of reflection.