Reproductive rights

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Catalyzing Rights and Reproductive rights

Relevant sources: ICCPR Arts. 2(1), 3, 7, 17, 23, 24(1), 26; ICESCR Arts. 2(2), 3, 10, 12; CAT Arts. 1, 16; CEDAW Arts. 1-3, 5, 10(h), 12, 14(2)(b), 16(1)(e); CRC Arts. 2(1), 3, 16, 17, 19, 23(3), 24, 34, 36, 37(a), 39; CRPD Arts. 3, 6, 8(1)(b), 15-16, 22, 23(1)(b)-(c), 25; ICERD Art. 5(e)(iv); ICRMW Arts. 1(1), 7, 10, 14, 28, 43(1)(e), 45(1)(c); UDHR Arts. 2, 5, 7, 12, 25(2)

Core elements of the guarantee during the COVID-19 pandemic include:

  • Guarantee that “sexual and reproductive health services, including access for everyone to maternal and new-born care; safe abortion and post-abortion care; contraception; antiretrovirals for HIV/AIDS; and antibiotics to treat STIs” are provided on a continual basis (OHCHR)
  • Ensure that resources are not “diverted away from essential sexual and reproductive health services” (OHCHR)
  • Ensure the “respect” and “protect[ion]” of “key principles of non-discrimination, equality and privacy, as well as the integrity, autonomy, dignity and well-being of individuals, especially in relation to sexual and reproductive health rights” (UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health)
  • Ensure “uninterrupted access to a full range of sexual and reproductive health services” including by addressing any issues “in the supply chain of sexual and reproductive health commodities, including prioritizing their continued production, shipping and distribution” (UN Working Group on discrimination against women and girls)
  • Maintain “confidential access to sexual and reproductive health information and services such as modern forms of contraception, safe abortion and post-abortion services” (UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women)
  • Ensure that “full consent” is “ensured to women and girls at all times, through toll-free hotlines and easy-to-access procedures such as online prescriptions, if necessary free of charge” (UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women)
  • Disseminate information about “the particular risks of COVID-19 for pregnant women and women with pre-existing health conditions” (UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women)

Further guidance can be found here: UN; UNFPA: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Maternal and Newborn Health & COVID-19, Adolescents and Young People & Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19); WHO, UNFPA & UNICEF

Show me of advances during COVID-19

Showing 16 matching measures.

Reproductive rights

Measure Country
Senate Bill 21-009 Concerning the Creation of a Reproductive Health Care Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Providing Contraceptive Methods and Counseling Services to Participants and Making an Appropriation United States

This bill in Colorado notes that “[d]uring the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial that family planning services remain accessible while keeping providers and patients safe,” that “[t]he needs of various…

FDA Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock has Notified ACOG [American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists] and SMFM [Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine] that the Agency will “Exercise Enforcement Discretion” Regarding Mifepristone though the Duration of the COVID19 Public Health Emergency United States

The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in a letter that it “intends to exercise enforcement discretion during the COVID-19 PHE…

Ensuring Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Tajikistan Tajikistan

The Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Tajikistan, in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Gender and Development, and the National…

UNFPA Launches Champion Mothers Project in El Valle Regional Health Service (UNFPA Lanza Proyecto Champion Mothers (Madres Campeonas) en el SRS El Valle) Dominican Republic

U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), in collaboration with the Dominican Republic Ministry of Public Health, the National Service of Health (SNS) and the El Valle Regional Health Service (SRS), launched the…

Home Use of Both Pills for Early Medical Abortion up to 10 Weeks Gestation United Kingdom

In order to “reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and ensure continued access to abortion services,” the government “put in place a temporary approval in England, enabling women and…

Subsidy for the Legal Interruption of Pregnancy During the COVID-19 Health Emergency Azcapo Accompanies You (Subsidio para la Interrupción Legal del Embarazo Durante la Emergencia Sanitaria por COVID 19 Azcapo te Acompaña) Mexico

This measure, put into place in the Azcapotzalco municipality of Mexico City, provides for the allocation of resources to “subsidize the cost of legal interruptions of pregnancy” including through medication…

A Summary of CDC’s Family Planning Recommendations for Healthcare Providers United States

Noting that “[d]uring COVID-19, it is critical that access to family planning services remains available while keeping healthcare providers and their patients safe,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…

Guidelines for the Prevention and Mitigation of COVID-19 in the Care of Pregnancy, Childbirth, Puerperium and the Newborn (Lineamiento para la Prevención y Mitigación de COVID-19 en la Atención del Embarazo, Parto, Puerperio y de la Persona Recién Nacida) Mexico

Noting that “[d]uring the COVID-19 pandemic, sexual and reproductive health services, and in particular, care during pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium and of the newborn, are classified as essential services…

Interim Guidance for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Services in COVID-19 Pandemic Nepal

The Reproductive Health (RH) sub-cluster of the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) created guidelines to “ensur[e] access to reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCAH) services while ensuring physical…

National Guideline for Providing Essential Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Services in the Context of COVID-19 Bangladesh

These guidelines aim to: “guide the health care providers and managers for providing essential MNCH [Maternal, Newborn and Child Health] services in the context of COVID-19,” “standardize MNCH services to…

POPCOM Launches COVID-19 Helpline Philippines

The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) sought to address the interruption of “access and delivery of family planning (FP) information and services” due to limited mobility as a result…

A Kenya Practical Guide for Continuity of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Family Planning Care and Services in the Background of COVID19 Pandemic Kenya

Kenya’s Ministry of Health developed “protocols [that] offer practical consideration of both preventive and clinical aspects of safe continuity of quality Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Family planning services during the…

Rapid Responses in the Context of COVID-19 – Medicated Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy (VIP) in the 8th and 9th Week of Amenhorrhea Outside of Hospital (Résponses Rapides dans le Cadre du COVID-19 – Interruption Volontaire de Grossesse (IVG) Médicamenteuse à la 8ème et à la 9ème Semaine d’Aménhorrhée (SA) Hors Milieu Hospitalier) France

Noting that “it is imperative in the current epidemic situation to guarantee a response to requests for abortion, under conditions that do not lead to exceeding the legal deadlines for…

SAMA-Resource Group for Women and Health versus Union of India and Ors. India

The High Court of Delhi disposed of a public interest petition submitted on behalf of SAMA-Resource Group for Women and Health. The petition raised the issue of “denial of delivery/child…

Executive Order No. 202.12: Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency United States

Following policies at some private hospitals in New York City “barring spouses, partners and other family members or outside support people, such as doulas, from the delivery room,” Executive Order…

Materials for Health Team (Materiales para Equipos de Salud) Argentina

The National Directorate of Sexual and Reproductive Health (NDSRH) issued a series of five “Informative Notes” (while not all of the “notes” directly address reproductive rights in the context of…

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