A WOMAN who wants to become a mother says she has been refused fertility treatment on the national health service because she is a lesbian.
Silvia García, 30, does not currently have a partner but is keen to have a child of her own.
However, she was told by the head of the fertility department at her local hospital in Asturias that he was 'under orders' from the regional ministry to refuse to attend to single heterosexual women, or lesbians.
A similar decision was made in the same region concerning another single lesbian who wanted to become a mother.
They were more or less told that unless they had a 'sterile male' as a partner, they did not qualify and would have to pay for private fertility treatment, says García.
Spain's health minister, Leire Pajín, denied that this could be the case as she said the national medical care system 'does not discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation'.
But García said the consultant specifically told her that lesbians were not entitled to treatment.
“That word did not have to come up,” she concludes.
She says the other lesbian in her situation, Andrea Muñoz, believed that it was a way of using sexual orientation to exclude certain patients, in order to save money.
“I do not wish to pay for private treatment, because every woman has a right to have children, and the right to be a parent should not have to depend upon a woman's financial status,” says Silvia, who is currently taking legal action.