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Spain extends free IVF treatment to single women and LGBT+ community

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By AP  with Euronews
Spanish Health Minister Carolina Darias signed the order at a ceremony on Friday.
Spanish Health Minister Carolina Darias signed the order at a ceremony on Friday.   -   Copyright  PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP, File

Spain has extended the availability of free IVF treatment to single women and the LGBT+ community.

Health minister Carolina Darias signed an order on Friday granting more women access to medically assisted reproduction in Spain's public health system.

The measure had long been demanded by LGBT+ rights groups that represent lesbian, bisexual, and trans people.

The move is also part of the Socialist-led Spanish government’s drive for equality, which has also seen a record number of women appointed to the Cabinet.

Fertility treatment is free in Spain, but six years ago the conservative Popular Party government limited it to heterosexual women who have a partner, forcing others to pay for private treatment.

Many of Spain’s regional governments refused to enforce that policy, however.

Darias signed the order at a ceremony attended by activists, saying the step aimed to put an end to discrimination in the public health system.

She said the day marked a "restitution of rights -- rights that never should have been denied".

Uge Sangil, the president of Spain’s federation of LGBTQ+ rights groups, welcomed the change, saying the lives of thousands of people would be transformed.

"Let no one doubt that expanding reproductive rights is expanding human rights," Sangil said at the ceremony.