Sexual & reproductive health & rights

What are reproductive rights?

Reproductive rights are legal rights and freedoms relating to reproduction and reproductive health. The World Health Organization defines reproductive rights as follows:

 “Reproductive rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. They also include the right of all to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence.”

Reproductive rights may include some or all of the following: the right to legal or safe abortion, the right to birth control, the right to access quality reproductive healthcare, and the right to education and access in order to make free and informed reproductive choices. Reproductive rights may also include the right to receive education about contraception and sexually transmitted infections, and freedom from coerced sterilization, abortion, and contraception, and protection from gender-based practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and male genital mutilation (MGM). From wikipedia

Women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights

The idea of reproductive rights as human rights is new and challenging. But consider this: Each one of us has indispensable human rights—rights that underpin our ability to live with dignity, to enjoy full and equal citizenship, to lead a healthy and fulfilling life. If a woman is to make her own decisions and live the healthiest life possible—her basic human rights—she must be able to control her reproductive life and obtain good reproductive healthcare and accurate information.

Simply put, reproductive freedom lies at the heart of the promise of human dignity, self-determination, and equality. When a woman is denied her reproductive rights—when she is denied obstetric care, birth control, the facts about reproductive health, or safe abortion,  she is denied the means to direct her own life, protect her health, and exercise her human rights. From the Center for Reproductive Rights

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