fbpx
Skip to main content

Women’s Reproductive Rights

A woman’s right to birth control and other contraceptives, the right to a legal and safe abortion, freedom from taking forced contraception or being forcefully sterilized, having proper reproductive healthcare, and the ability to make informed and proper reproductive decisions

Women’s Reproductive Rights

Reproductive rights are a type of human right that concerns matters of sexual and reproductive health. Men and women have reproductive rights, but as our bodies are different, so are our rights and how they’re applied. 

Reproductive rights are about choices of what we do with our own bodies. It’s essential to consider how those rights can be respected and what factors might impact them.

What Are Women’s Reproductive Rights?

Women’s reproductive rights include the right to choose whether to reproduce or not. It includes the ability to choose whether to terminate or continue with a pregnancy. It also refers to choices for contraception and family planning.

There are many factors that could affect a woman’s decision about when to have children. While abstinence from sex is one solution for not getting pregnant, women should have the option to have sex without pregnancy being an inevitable outcome.

These rights can be violated in different ways. For example, if laws are introduced reducing the choices for abortion, contraception, or family planning. Another way that reproductive rights can be impacted is through inequalities in access to healthcare systems and contraceptives.

Health and Well-being For All

Women’s reproductive rights are closely linked to their health and well-being. Women have different health needs compared to men, and failure to recognize that and provide adequate services is discrimination.

Reproductive health is linked to overall well-being. Women have the right to physical and mental health and social well-being. It also includes a right to have access to information about care, avoiding sexually transmitted infections, family planning, and contraception.

In terms of contraception, it means that there should be a wide range of options for women that don’t negatively affect their health. Not every option is suitable for every woman, which is why choice is important. 

Types of contraception include:

  • Condoms – male or female
  • Oral contraceptive pill
  • Contraceptive implant
  • Intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Contraceptive injection
  • Diaphragm
  • Contraceptive ring
  • Sterilization

Despite laws granting women reproductive rights, the reality of who can access contraception, abortions, and family planning might differ. Social stigmas can prevent access, such as judging and refusing younger women who seek contraception. Economic circumstances can also play a role where reproductive health procedures and contraception aren’t subsidized or covered by insurance.

Access To Family Planning

Family planning refers to the ability to have children at specific intervals and when a woman wants them. There are several reasons for this beyond personal desires. It might be impacted by the stability of a relationship or income. One of the main factors is health and well-being. 

Recommended birth spacing is three to five years between each child. This option is best for the mother, child, and families in general. Giving birth requires a lot of the body, and raising a newborn infant is also emotionally, mentally, and physically demanding. Failure to observe birth spacing can cause serious long-term health issues and can be fatal.

Access to good family planning services reduces the need for abortions. Around half of the abortions that happen across the world are unsafe; when abortion is the only option, it puts women’s health at risk unnecessarily. 

Sources

https://www.msichoices.org/what-we-do/learn/what-is-sexual-and-reproductive-health/

https://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/shalev.htm#:~:text=The%20right%20to%20reproductive%20choice,of%20family%20planning%20and%20contraception.

https://statusofwomendata.org/explore-the-data/reproductive-rights/

https://www.ohchr.org/en/node/3447/sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-rights

Register to Vote