The Spanish Health Minister Carolina Darias signed an order on Friday that grants single women, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people access to medically assisted reproduction within the public health system, where it is performed free of charge.
LGBTQ+ rights groups had long been demanding the measure and it is part of Spain’s socialist (PSOE) led coalition government’s drive for equality, which has also seen a record number of women appointed to the cabinet.
Fertility treatment is free in Spain, but six years ago the right wing People’s Party (PP) government limited it to heterosexual women who have a partner, forcing others to pay for private treatment. Many of Spain’s regional governments refused to enforce that policy, however.
The health minister signed the order at a ceremony attended by activists, saying the step aimed to put an end to discrimination in the public health system.
She said: ‘Starting today, women without a partner, lesbians, bisexuals and trans people with the capacity to carry a child, will have access to the techniques of IVF treatment. We have restored rights that should never have been abolished. We are a government that fulfils its commitments‘.
Uge Sangil, the president of Spain’s federation of LGBTQ+ rights’ groups, welcomed the change, saying the lives of thousands of people would be transformed.
‘Let no one doubt that expanding reproductive rights is expanding human rights,’ Sangil said at the ceremony.
A partir de hoy, las mujeres sin pareja, lesbianas, bisexuales y personas trans con capacidad de gestar, tendrán acceso a las técnicas de #RHA en el #SNS. Hemos restituido derechos que nunca tenían que haberse suprimido.— Carolina Darias (@CarolinaDarias) November 5, 2021
Somos un gobierno que cumple sus compromisos https://t.co/LzXm1chtYs