Recognising World Contraception Day (26 September 2022) and International Safe Abortion Day (28 September 2022), a group of UN Special Rapporteurs released a statement calling for states to prioritise sexual and reproductive health rights in line with their international human rights obligations, and to adopt legislation and policies that ensure the full exercise of the right to access sexual and reproductive health services, including safe abortions.
The statement records that “the world has been experiencing promising developments but also important setbacks affecting the right to sexual and reproductive health, including on the right to safe abortion. Human rights law stipulates that women must be free to decide when to be pregnant, how many children to have, and how to space pregnancies. The full enjoyment of sexual and reproductive health rights is indispensable to women’s and girls’ ability to exercise all other human rights and for the achievement of gender equality. Laws and policies that deny women and girls their sexual and reproductive health rights are inherently discriminatory.”
In terms of equality and inclusion, the statement recognises that “sexual and reproductive health strategies should take into account the needs of lesbian and bisexual women, trans men, and all gender diverse persons for whom they are relevant.”
World Contraception Day seeks to improve awareness of all contraceptive methods available and to enable young people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.
International Safe Abortion Day seeks to mobilise communities and strengthen the global movement for universal access to safe, legal abortion.
The statement of the UN Special Rapporteurs is accessible here.
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