ONE OF SPAIN’S most controversial pieces of legislation, the so-called ‘Trans Law’, came into effect today. And in Madrid, 20-year-old Lucia was the first person to use it to legally change her gender on official records.
It took all of five minutes for her to do so at the central Civil Registry in the Spanish capital, only needing to hand over documents such as her birth certificate and ID card.
‘They gave me everything straight away, they were very well prepared,’ she told Europa Press afterwards. ‘They must have been studying all night, like I was!’
The Trans Law sparked bitter divisions in the coalition government, as well as in the feminist movement, on its path through parliament.
Under the new legislation, people can choose their name and legally registered gender without taking any previous steps or needing medical supervision, as was the case previously.
This applies to anyone aged 16 and over, while for minors there are some conditions. Those aged 12 to 14 will need the blessing of the courts, while 14- to 16-year-olds will need the permission of their parents or legal guardians.
It was this element of the legislation, the age brackets, that caused the biggest rift between the coalition partners, the Socialist Party (PSOE) and Unidas Podemos. In fact, it even prompted divisions within the PSOE itself, and was rejected by parts of the feminist movement.
Other points in the trans law include a ban on conversion therapies, even when the person in question consents; access to assisted reproduction on the national health service; and the joint parentage of children born to unmarried lesbian couples.
The government’s new abortion law also came into force today. That legislation does away with a requirement for women aged 16 and 17 to have parental approval before seeking a termination, as well as scrapping a three-day period of reflection before the procedure can go ahead.
Another element of the abortion law that has made headlines both at home and abroad is the introduction of up to five days of medical leave for women suffering from painful periods.
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