MADRID – Spain’s health minister on Friday signed an ordinance granting single women, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people access to medically assisted reproduction in the public health system, where it is performed free of charge.
The measure has long been demanded by LGBT rights groups and is part of the socialist government’s campaign for equality, which has also seen a record number of women appointed to cabinet.
Fertility treatment is free in Spain, but six years ago the conservative government of the ruling People’s Party limited it to heterosexual women who have a partner, forcing others to pay for private treatment. However, many Spanish regional governments have refused to apply this policy.
Health Minister Carolina Darias signed the order in a ceremony attended by activists, saying the move was aimed at ending discrimination in the public health system.
She said the day marked a “restitution of rights – rights that should never have been denied.”
Uge Sangil, president of the Spanish Federation of LGBTQ + Rights Groups, welcomed the change, saying the lives of thousands of people would be transformed.
“Let no one doubt that expanding reproductive rights extends human rights,” Sangil said at the ceremony.