Reproductive rights

Legal rights and freedoms relating to reproduction and reproductive health / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Reproductive rights are legal rights and freedoms relating to reproduction and reproductive health that vary amongst countries around the world.[1] The World Health Organization defines reproductive rights as follows:[2]

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: right to abortion; birth control; freedom from coerced sterilization and contraception; the right to access good-quality reproductive healthcare; and the right to education and access in order to make free and informed reproductive choices.[3] Reproductive rights may also include the right to receive education about sexually transmitted infections and other aspects of sexuality, right to menstrual health[4][5] and protection from practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM).[1][3][6][7]

Reproductive rights began to develop as a subset of human rights at the United Nation's 1968 International Conference on Human Rights.[6] The resulting non-binding Proclamation of Tehran was the first international document to recognize one of these rights when it stated that: "Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and the spacing of their children."[6][8] Women's sexual, gynecological, and mental health issues were not a priority of the United Nations until its Decade of Women (1975–1985) brought them to the forefront.[9] States, though, have been slow in incorporating these rights in internationally legally binding instruments. Thus, while some of these rights have already been recognized in hard law, that is, in legally binding international human rights instruments, others have been mentioned only in non binding recommendations and, therefore, have at best the status of soft law in international law, while a further group is yet to be accepted by the international community and therefore remains at the level of advocacy.[10]

Issues related to reproductive rights are some of the most vigorously contested rights' issues worldwide, regardless of the population's socioeconomic level, religion or culture.[11]

The issue of reproductive rights is frequently presented as being of vital importance in discussions and articles by population concern organizations such as Population Matters.[12]

Reproductive rights are a subset of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

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