The Spanish Congress definitively approved this Thursday a law that authorizes free gender self-determination, after months of debate within the progressive government of President Pedro Sánchez.
The rule, approved by a large majority of deputies, opens the door for anyone over the age of 16 to freely change their gender through a simple administrative procedure.
Flagship initiative of the left-wing party Podemos, a minority partner in the government of Sánchez’s socialists, the so-called “trans law” was approved at first reading in the Congress of Deputies in December and validated by the Senate a week ago.
The requirements demanded until now will no longer be necessary: A medical report diagnosing gender dysphoria and a trial of hormone treatment for two years, the AFP news agency reported.
Young people between the ages of 14 and 16 will need to be accompanied by their legal guardians and between the ages of 12 and 14, a judicial authorization.
Abortion law reform
The Spanish deputies also definitively approved a reform of the abortion law that restores the right to terminate a pregnancy to minors aged 16 and 17 without the need for parental permission.
In addition, the norm eliminates the so-called three days of reflection, guarantees that it can be carried out in public hospitals and shields abortion against anti-abortion protocols such as one proposed by the far-right Vox party in Castilla y León.
The reform of the abortion law was promoted by the ruling social democratic parties PSOE, President Pedro Sánchez, and the left-wing Podemosand approved with their votes and those of the allied formations.
Vox and the right-wing Popular Party (PP) voted againstthe main opposition force, which was the one that took away the rights of girls under 16 and 17 who did not have parental permission, in 2015, when he governed.
In total, the law received 185 votes in favor, 154 against and 3 abstentions, reported the Europa Press news agency.
“We recover the right that young women aged 16 and 17 were robbed of to decide over their own bodies”said the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, of Podemos.
“Sharing this process with their families, their loved ones, with whoever they want, but they and only they are the ones who decide”he added.
The minister said that the State thus sends “a strong message to women: that we believe in and respect their decisions.”
During his speech in the plenary session, Montero also honored the memory of all the women who “have given their all” to defend the right to abortion.
“Justa Montero, Begoña Sanjosé, the feminist assemblies, the freedom train,” he said, and especially, he recalled the Prime Minister of Equality of democracy, Bibiana Aído (2008-2010), of the PSOE.
Montero claimed that, with this law, “sons, daughters and sons” will have the right to be educated “in respect for the diversity of bodies, sexual orientations and gender identities”, some statements that have aroused laughter in the bench right.
Safe and public abortion so as not to die. Contraceptives not to abort. Comprehensive sexual education to decide ?? pic.twitter.com/IQjwdyYfc1
— Irene Montero (@IreneMontero) February 16, 2023
“It is impressive how they are not capable of approaching, even with respect, the reality of people who are simply asking to be able to exist and to be recognized without mockery, without discrimination,” he reproached them.
The deputy of the PP Marta González criticized what she called “lunatic will of the Ministry of Equality to leave its mark” with the reform of the abortion law, which she called “unnecessary, inopportune and unexpected”.
Vox deputy Lourdes Méndez said that it is “sadism” that “whoever kills a rat is punished with jail while a child can be freely killed in the womb of his mother.”