Spain has now extended its free fertility and IVF treatments to LGBTQ+ people in a huge step towards equality.
On Friday (5 November), the country’s health minister Carolina Darias signed the order that allows queer women, non-binary people, trans women and single women to receive free IVF treatments.
This isn’t the first time that the Spanish government has introduced this inclusive measure.
Before 2013, the country offered free fertility treatments to everyone until the conservative Popular party changed the eligibility to only straight married women.
For the last six years, LGBTQ+ activists and allies have called on the government to reinstate the inclusion of queer individuals and single women within the bill’s guidelines.
Shortly after signing the order, Darias took to Twitter to praise the initiative and said that the government has “restored rights”.
“Starting today, single women, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people will have access to [reproductive technologies] on the [public health service],” she wrote.
“We have restored rights that should never have been abolished.”
A partir de hoy, las mujeres sin pareja, lesbianas, bisexuales y personas trans con capacidad de gestar, tendrán acceso a las técnicas de #RHA en el #SNS. Hemos restituido derechos que nunca tenían que haberse suprimido.
Somos un gobierno que cumple sus compromisos https://t.co/LzXm1chtYs
— Carolina Darias (@CarolinaDarias) November 5, 2021
Uge Sangil, the president of Spain’s federation of LGBTQ+ rights groups, echoed similar sentiments to Darias in a lengthy statement.
“We have always understood that achieving rights such as assisted reproduction benefits lesbian and bisexual women and pregnant trans people, without harming anyone,” they said.
“It is an example of how recognizing LGBT+ rights means recognising human rights for society as a whole.
“We will not be able to be citizens with all rights fully recognised as long as the conditions of freedom and equality of all people are not guaranteed, whatever their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.”
They went on to say that there’s more work to be done for LGBTQ+ rights and that “our struggle is daily, resilient and active”.
“We are, activists, more necessary than ever. We have history, we have memory, we have strength, we have conviction and we are right; they will never stop us,” Sangil said.
The queer-friendly measure isn’t the only LGBTQ+ bill to be introduced within the country.
This past summer, the government approved a draft bill that gives people over the age of 16 the ability to change their gender without approval from parents or doctors.
— Uge Sangil (@USangil) November 5, 2021