The Plenary of the Senate has unanimously approved the eradication of the Penal Code of the forced sterilization of people with disability judicially incapacitated, which in the last decade has affected a thousand women in Spain, many of them adolescents.
All groups have supported the last step for the final approval of the reform proposed by the disability sector, through a legislative initiative promoted by Ciudadanos, and celebrated “this historic step” on the eve of the International and European Day of Persons with Disabilities.
In an institutional declaration signed by all the groups for this commemoration, the Senate reaffirms its commitment to the rights of people with disabilities and their families and emphasizes that “in this time of health and humanitarian emergency” it is more necessary than ever to “protect their integrity ”and“ redouble efforts for change ”to make societies inclusive and respectful of disabilities.
The Upper House has also asked the Government by majority to change Article 49 of the Constitution to remove the term “diminished”, already proposed by the PSOE in the previous legislature but whose processing was paralyzed with the dissolution of the Cortes, although it will not be able to start until the state of alarm ends, as explained by the socialist senator, Artemi Rallo.
«Let’s not waste any more time and build the necessary consensus to a more inclusive Constitution“Rallo has claimed in defense of the initiative, backed this Wednesday by the majority of the House.
The proposed law to reform the Penal Code deletes the second paragraph of article 156, which currently decriminalizes non-consensual sterilizations, with prior judicial authorization.
Support and information to decide
But in addition, the socialist senator Patricia Abascal has recalled that it includes, in a final provision, that the Government will send to the Cortes a bill of modification of the patient autonomy law (2002) and the abortion law (2010) to offer the support and information to women with disabilities that they need so that their decision “as patients, is free and informed and the right to their sexual and reproductive health is guaranteed.”
“It also responds to another demand from organizations so that women with disabilities know their rights and are informed so that they are the ones who freely decide,” he added.
«Today is a day when women and girls with disabilities they regain a right they should never have lost“, Has asserted the socialist parliamentarian,” in which they do not touch criticism, but congratulations for all because it shows that politics serves to respond to the demands of citizenship.
From the popular group, Senator Violante Tomás has lamented the “unjustified” absence of the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, in the Upper House “as a representative of the ministry of all women on such an important day: he forgets about girls and women with disabilities.”
The spokesman for Ciudadanos, Tomás Marcos Arias, highlighted “the enormous consensus that arises from civil society and returns to civil society.”
“Spain is a better country with this agreement” which constitutes an “important milestone for equality and social inclusion of people with disabilities, on the eve of the International Day”, which prohibits “this aberrant practice” that violated the Convention of Persons with Disabilities and the Istanbul Convention , on violence against women.
For Josep Rufá (ERC) “it is necessary to review prejudices about the rights of women with disabilities and establish a culture of support for people with disabilities and their families so that they know how to exercise their rights.”
«It is one more achievement in equalizing the rights of people with disabilities, but much work remains so they can make their own decisions; a step forward is being taken to normalize what should be a fact, “said Teresa Rivero, from Junts per Catalunya.
The Senator of the Confederal Left, Eduardo Fernández, has regretted that a UN convention has been violated for 10 years. “You cannot be part-time Democrats,” he asserted.
Yolanda Melero, from VOX, has supported the elimination of “this attack on the rights and integrity of people with disabilities” and has blamed the PSOE to regulate in 1989 that practice that “is outrageous”.
The spokespersons of the groups have thanked the vice president of CERMI Women, Ana Peláez, present in the Upper House, for her constant and patient fight in defense of the rights of these women.
CERMI celebrates it as an achievement
For the Spanish Committee of Representatives of People with Disabilities (CERMI) «this regulatory advance is a country achievement, which banishes a black point in our legislation that involved a direct attack on the rights of people with disabilities, especially those of women and adolescents ».
With the same unanimity, the Plenary of the Senate has approved asking the Government to implement the necessary actions so that the International Paralympic Committee allows a specific category for athletes with Down syndrome to compete in Paralympic Games.