Madrid (The Times Groupe)- A draft bill has been approved in Spain that would remove parental consent requirements for girls 16 and 17.
The bill seeks to reform a previous abortion law approved by the conservative People’s Party in 2015.
According to the government spokeswoman Isabel Rodriguez, the bill represented “a new step forward for democracy”.
The bill will make Spain the first country in Europe to offer its workers paid menstrual leave.
Abortion is legal in Spain until the 14th week of pregnancy.
However, in traditionally Roman Catholic Spain doctors will still be able to sign up for a register of conscientious objectors, El País reports.
In a statement, Irene Montero said government institutions need to “discard taboos, stigmas, and guilt about women’s bodies”.
The draft also seeks to provide employees with three days of sick leave for painful periods, extending this to five days for particularly intense or incapacitating pain.
In Spain, sick leave is paid for by the state social security system, not by employers.
The bill also includes sick leave for severe menstrual pain and abortions for 16 and 17-year-old girls.
Spain has also announced that it will tighten restrictions on surrogacy, which is already illegal in the country.
Government officials have promised to go one step further and ban advertisements for surrogacy agencies.
It categorizes forced pregnancy, abortion, sterilisation, and contraception as forms of violence against women, as well as surrogacy.
The sexual and reproductive health bill is intended to encourage the development of hormonal contraception for men, emphasizing that contraception is not the sole responsibility of women.
Spain’s left-wing coalition government came to power almost four years ago and has prioritized women’s rights.