Seven years after the Popular Party excluded lesbian, bisexual women with a female partner and without a partner from assisted reproduction in public health, the Government puts an end to this discrimination. The Ministry of Health has announced that this Friday Carolina Darias will sign the ministerial order that will update the portfolio of common services of the National Health System to recover this right and also include transgender people, a historic claim of the movement.
Four years of discrimination: this is how lesbians and single women have overcome their exclusion from assisted reproduction
The norm approved by the PP altered the requirements to access these techniques and reduced them to fertility problems as a necessary condition, which left these women out. “The lack of a man is not a medical problem,” the then head of the portfolio, Ana Mato, came to justify. The literal wording that the Executive introduced and that will now be modified surprised, to say the least, public opinion and it is that it established as a requirement for the State to finance the treatment the “absence of pregnancy after a minimum of 12 months of sexual relations with vaginal intercourse “and the” existence of a documented disorder of reproductive capacity “.
The regulation came into force in November 2014. From the beginning, some communities such as Andalusia, Extremadura or Euskadi decided not to apply it, and others were adapting their legislation. However, at least in Ceuta and Melilla the exclusion is still in force, which also affects those civil servants, soldiers, civil guards and judges obliged to be in Muface, Mugeju and Isfas, which are governed by the portfolio of state services, that is, by the popular order and its requirements.
During these seven years, lesbian, bisexual and single women have had to face interrupted treatments in the public health system, large amounts of money spent in private clinics to be mothers and even litigation in court. Many of them have continued to go to court: last January two judgments of higher courts of justice forced the State to return the money to a lesbian couple and a woman.
Several judgments have also recognized that it is a directly discriminatory rule. This was the case in the ruling that set a precedent and issued by the Social Court No. 18 of Madrid in 2015 in the case of a couple and women whose treatment was interrupted by the Jiménez Díaz Foundation. The court assumed that there had been “discrimination based on sexual orientation” and established that the law on assisted reproductive techniques – which recognizes access “regardless of their marital status and sexual orientation” – is superior to the order. .
A long-awaited reform
The modification of the service portfolio comes after years of waiting. The socialist government announced the modification on the occasion of the LGTBI Pride of 2018, something that the then Minister of Health, Carmen Montón, anticipated, but that after the call for elections and the formation of the new Executive, did not occur.
The recovery of the right was introduced within the framework of the LGTBI and Trans legislation that caused a tough fight in the coalition government between the PSOE and United We Can. Sources from the Ministry of Equality celebrate the step taken: “It is very good news,” they say. And they recall that the measure was first included in the draft of the LGTBI Law, but after the negotiations it was incorporated as an additional provision that urged the Ministry of Health to approve the ministerial order “within six months,” the text currently reads in processing
Finally, Health has approved the rule that reverses the exclusion and that has been insistently denounced by LGTBI groups. It also incorporates trans people with the ability to gestate to assisted reproduction techniques, since the situation is not homogeneous in Spain: there are communities that do allow, for example, trans men who have rectified the sex category of their ID to ‘ masculine ‘access the public system, but others do not.