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One Country Just Expanded Abortion and Transgender Rights for Teenagers

AP Photo/Armando Franca

Late last year, Townhall reported how New Zealand’s then-Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that lawmakers in the country would consider lowering the voting age to 16. This came after the Supreme Court deemed the current voting age “discriminatory.” Lawmakers on the left supported such a change, while lawmakers on the right said they would not support giving 16-year-olds voting rights. This week, another country gave 16-year-olds the right to obtain an abortion without parental consent and legally change their registered gender.  

On Thursday, Spain’s parliament approved legislation expanding abortion rights, transgender rights, and allowing paid menstrual leave. The legislation was pushed by the country’s Equality Minister Irene Montero, who belongs to Spain’s left-wing “United We Can” Party, according to PBS.

Going forward, 16 and 17-year-old girls can now obtain an abortion without parental consent. Female hygiene products will be offered free of charge in schools and women’s prisons. State-funded health centers will provide the birth control pill and “morning after pill” for free. Workers who suffer “debilitating” pain during their menstrual period will be permitted to take paid time off, making Spain the first European country to allow this.

Reportedly, the changes also enshrine the right for a woman to have an abortion in a state hospital, as 80 percent of abortions in the country currently occur in private clinics. Spain, which is a majority Catholic country, has a growing number of doctors who refuse to perform abortions for religious reasons. State hospital doctors will have to register their objections to performing abortions in writing to opt out of the procedure. 

Regarding transgender issues, a separate package approved by Spanish lawmakers will allow any citizen over age 16 to legally change their registered gender without medical supervision. Fourteen to 16-year-olds will have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian to do so, while 12 and 13-year-olds will need a judge to sign off on the change as well. 

“The center-left coalition government is currently under fire for another of Montero’s star projects, a new sexual consent law that was intended to increase protection against rape but has inadvertently allowed hundreds of sex offenders to have prison sentences reduced,” PBS noted.

Townhall previously reported that Spain and Scotland were working to make it simpler for residents to legally change their gender. And, BBC noted that the legislation in Spain angered feminists who said that transgender issues could “erode women’s rights.”

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