Posted by Bukola Daike on June 9, 2021 at 11:11 am
MEPs urge member states to protect and further enhance women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in a recently adopted report.
In the draft report approved by the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality by 27 votes in favour, 6 against and 1 abstention, MEPs point out that the right to health, in particular sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR), are fundamental women’s rights which should be enhanced and cannot in any way be watered down or withdrawn.
They add that violations of women’s SRHR are a form of violence against women and girls and hinder progress towards gender equality. They thus call on EU countries to ensure access to a full range of high-quality, comprehensive and accessible SRHR, and remove all barriers impeding full access to these services.
Access to abortion, contraception and sexuality education
Women’s Rights and Gender Equality MEPs stress that some member states still have highly restrictive laws prohibiting abortion except in strictly defined circumstances, leading to women having to seek clandestine abortions or carry their pregnancy to term against their will, which is a violation of their human rights. Thus, they urge all member states to ensure universal access to safe and legal abortion, and guarantee that abortion at request is legal in early pregnancy, and beyond if the pregnant person’s health is in danger. They also recall that a total ban on abortion care is a form a gender-based violence.