Factbox: A look at Spain’s paid menstrual leave and abortion bill

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(Reuters) – Spain is set to become the first European country to introduce paid leave for women who suffer from painful periods under a draft bill by the minority leftist government that will also reinforce abortion rights.

Here are its key points:

ACCESS TO ABORTION

* Easier access to abortion in the public health system.

* The three-day mandatory reflection period for all women who wish to terminate their pregnancy will be removed.

* Women from age 16 will be able to terminate their pregnancy without parental consent.

MENSTRUAL HEALTH

* Women who suffer from especially painful periods will have the right to state-covered paid leave.

* Menstrual products such as tampons and menstrual cups will be distributed for free in schools, prisons, women’s health care facilities and other public institutions.

EDUCATION

* The bill will ensure that concepts such as consent are an integral part of sex education in schools.

* Public sexual and reproductive centres will be created along with a phone line specialised in sexual health and reproductive rights.

CONTRACEPTIVES

* Latest-generation contraceptive pill will be covered by public health insurance.

* The law will promote contraceptive options for men.

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

* Surrogacy, forced sterilisation of women with disabilities and forced pregnancy and abortion will all be recognised as a form of violence against women.

MATERNITY LEAVE

* The bill includes state-funded pre-maternity leave from week 39.

COST

* The Equality Ministry estimates total annual costs will be around 0.011% of Spain’s 2021 GDP, with the pre-maternity leave accounting for about half of that spending.

Reporting by Christina Thykjaer and Belén Carreño; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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