Lack of access to sexual and reproductive health and rights has widespread consequences for women, families, communities, and the world. But, when sexual and reproductive health and rights are realized, we spark a ripple effect. Empowering women to plan their families and their futures achieves progress on all our global development goals and puts families, communities and countries on a stronger, more prosperous and sustainable path.
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and its functions and processes. [i]
Implicit in this last condition are the right of men and women to be informed and to have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of family planning of their choice, as well as other methods of their choice for regulation of fertility which are not against the law, and the right of access to appropriate health care services that will enable women to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant.[ii]
REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS These 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.[iii]
[i] International Conference on Population and Development, Summary of the Programme of Action, paragraph 7.1 , (New York: United Nations Department of Public Information, March 1995)
[ii] Ibid, paragraph 7.2: based upon rights recognized in international human rights treaties, declarations and other instruments.