US Lack of Medical Leave in Focus as Spain Passes New Law

Spain has passed a new “period pain” law that allows women to take medical leave. The new law has brought the lack of U.S. medical leave into focus. 

Spanish women suffering from “period pain” will now be able to take medical leave, guaranteed by a new government law. It makes Spain the first European country to do so.

Women will be allowed to stay at home for a few hours during the working day or take medical leave if pain prevents them from working. It guarantees menstrual health as part of the country’s right to gender equality in health.

Spain follows countries like Zambia, Japan, and South Korea, which have similar policies. The new law also aims to tackle period poverty by offering free pads and tampons at schools and prisons. 

The legislation reformed a 2010 law guaranteeing women’s sexual and reproductive rights. 

The protections are now enshrined, establishing Spain’s position as one of Europe’s most progressive countries on abortion and reproductive rights. 

But the United States remains the only wealthy country that does not guarantee paid family leave. Not to mention, has recently overturned the federal constitutional right to an abortion. More than 16 million people who menstruate are living in poverty in the U.S.  

The “pink tax” also hurts women across the U.S. The pink tax is a premium placed on certain products designed for women. In many cases, women pay more than men for the same personal-care items, while earning less.

States are also taking aim at restricting women’s rights even further. Now that Roe was overturned by the Supreme Court, states are gunning for reproductive rights. 

Virginia just this week blocked a bill that would have banned officers from accessing period tracking apps. It has raised concerns about bodily autonomy. 

In Kentucky, the state’s Supreme Court decided to keep the state’s trigger law and six-week abortion ban in place. 

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