Spain’s Health Minister Carolina Darias signed an executive order on November 5 reversing a ban on single women and LGBTQ people from accessing free in vitro fertilization (IVF) services. Single women and LGBTQ individuals were previously required to pay for IVF services.
The order restores the right of queer women, transgender people, and single individuals to receive in vitro fertilization (IVF), one of the many forms of free assisted reproductive health services covered under the country’s public health system. This move comes nearly six years after the conservative Popular Party government imposed a discriminatory policy in 2014 that restricted the treatments to straight women who have a partner and individuals with fertility disorders.
During a ceremony announcing the order, Darias touted the measure as a step toward ending discrimination against LGBTQ communities. The official added that the order signified a “restitution of rights — rights that never should have been denied.”
🔴 El Gobierno devuelve el derecho al acceso a la reproducción humana asistida a mujeres sin pareja, lesbianas y bisexuales e incluye a las personas trans con capacidad de gestar
📢 @CarolinaDarias : "Hoy es un día de restitución de derechos" pic.twitter.com/KreiwidQ2A
— Ministerio de Sanidad (@sanidadgob) November 5, 2021
For many LGBTQ rights groups, the anti-LGBTQ ban on assisted reproductive health care has been a pain point worth addressing in the administration. With the new policy in place, advocates are celebrating movement on the issue. In a statement, Arcópoli, an LGBTQ social justice organization in Spain, applauded the restored measure.
“At last, assisted reproduction is included for single women, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people,” the group wrote in a tweet. “This is the way, to continue expanding rights and not leaving anyone out.”
Uge Sangil, the president of Spain’s federation of LGBTQ rights groups, echoed support for the new changes.
“Returning assisted reproductive techniques for single women, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people with pregnant capacity to the National Health System Service Portfolio has been one of the red lines we had in the negotiation of the Trans and LGTBI Law that is on the way,” Sangil said in a written statement. “This order comes to guarantee and expand human rights. Our struggle is always to expand rights, never to erase the rights of anyone.”
Spain’s government said the order would impact thousands of LGBTQ people across the country.
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