The Law Regarding Transsexuality
With 191 votes in favor, 60 against, and 91 abstentions, the law that “depathologizes” transsexuality was approved. After the vote, activists from the LGBTI collectives cheered in the classroom. “We are taking a step forward” for LGBTI rights with this provision, and “trans minors will feel more understood,” said Minister for Equal Opportunities Irene Montero in her speech to Congress before the vote.
Vox’s criticisms and majority divisions
During the lengthy parliamentary process, the provision was harshly criticized by the opposition, the People’s Party and Vox, and caused divisions even within the majority coalition (Unidos Podemos and Psoe) and the Socialist Party itself. The PSOE wanted to introduce the judge’s authorization for name and gender changes in the registry office, as well as for minors aged 14 to 16.
“An Initial Step”
“The law recognizes something simple: that if you’re trans, you have the right, for example, to rent an apartment or have fun in a public place without being discriminated against,” Montero said. Who warned that “the journey does not end here” and that “there is a lack of recognition of trans migrant people’s rights, and trans minors’ rights can also be extended,” but the legislation is, in any case, a first step.
Concerning the abortion law reform, it is a broader provision on sexual health, so much so that it includes menstrual leave (paid by the State), the duration of which is at the discretion of the doctor. With the return to the 2010 law, girls aged 16 and 17 will be able to have abortions without parental consent, while under 16s will require authorization, and a judge will intervene if there are conflicting opinions; additionally, public health assistance is guaranteed in the nearest hospital, and the three-day “pause for reflection” is eliminated. Spain is not the first country to pass such legislation; in France and the Netherlands, those over the age of 16 can already terminate a pregnancy without parental consent.
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