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Spain offers free fertility treatment for lesbians and single women

Two women walk by with a baby outside Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain, June 26, 2015. REUTERS/Juan Medina - GF10000140307

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain’s new Socialist government agreed to offer free reproductive treatment to lesbians and single women on Friday, restoring a benefit canceled by the conservative administration it toppled in June.

The announcement rounded off a string of social measures made during Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s first month in power. The austerity-minded government of former premier Mariano Rajoy took away free fertility treatment for those groups in 2014.

“Today the misogyny is over,” state secretary for equality Soledad Murillo tweeted.

After its approval at a cabinet meeting on Friday, which coincided with LGBTI pride celebrations in Madrid, the measure will come into effect in January 2019, government spokeswoman Isabel Celaa said.

So far, he has taken in two migrant rescue boats that were refused port by neighboring countries, named a female-dominated cabinet and pledged to train judges in gender issues.

Spain has one of the lowest birth rates in Europe. Last year the total number of deaths outpaced the number of births at the fastest pace since records began in 1941.

Reporting by Isla Binnie and Belen Carreno; editing by David Stamp