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Access to basic reproductive rights: Global Challenges

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Reproductive Ethics
EditorsLeslie Francis
Publisher or commissioning bodyOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780190657796
ISBN (Print)9780199981878
DateAccepted/In press - 3 Nov 2015
DateE-pub ahead of print - Apr 2016
DatePublished (current) - 2016


If women are to have true equality with men, they must be able to control the number of children they have and the time of childbirth. Access to family planning services, particularly safe contraception and abortion, is key to this control and thus must be understood as basic reproductive rights. To disallow such access effectively bars women from attaining equality with men by denying minimal standards of bodily integrity. These rights must be understood not just in terms of non-interference but also in terms of ensuring an enabling environment to access to these services. International human rights norms are an important empowerment tool and are evolving towards protecting basic reproductive rights, but there is still more to be accomplished. An important threat to basic reproductive rights, which must be resisted, is the Global Gag Rule that prohibits funding to reproductive agencies which offer abortion services.

    Research areas

  • Reproductive justice, abortion, contraception, basic rights, human rights, equality, Global Gag Rule, reproductive rights, Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    Structured keywords

  • Centre for Health Law and Society

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  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Oxford University Press at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 401 KB, PDF-document


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