New law will allow women to be signed off sick for incapacitating period pain

New law will allow women to be signed off sick for incapacitating period pain

The Spanish government has now passed the Law of Sexual and Reproductive Health, and has sent parliament the draft that protects the right of all women to voluntarily end their pregnancy in the hospital closest to their home, and guarantees that no woman has to go to work when suffering painful and disabling menstruation, and have asked for it to be approved as soon as possible.

The law, which the government hopes will be in force by the end of the year, includes a register so that doctors who are not prepared to carry out abortions can exercise their right to conscientious objection, and will oblige regional governments to ensure that in every hospital there is at least one doctor who will comply with women’s right to end their pregnancy voluntarily.

At present, there are ways of preventing this right from being exercised, which explains why 85% of abortions are carried out in private clinics. The 38 hospitals in Madrid do not carry out abortions, and in nine provinces none have been carried out since abortion became legal in 1985.

This is the first law in Europe of its kind, which will include disabling menstruation as a reason to be signed off sick from work, with no minimum contribution period and no limit to the number of days. “No more having to go to work in great pain. Periods are no longer going to be taboo,” said Irene Montero, the Minister for Equality.

The sexual and reproductive health law, which also includes paid prenatal leave from the 39th week of pregnancy and guarantees the right to paid convalescence for anyone who has an abortion or miscarriage, will give girls aged 16 and 17 the right to end a pregnancy without needing parental permission.