IPPF welcomes new UN commentary on indivisible right to sexual and reproductive health

three girls huggin each other

On International Women’s Day, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has welcomed a new commentary from UN experts which says that the right to sexual and reproductive health is indivisible from other human rights.

“It is absolutely right for the Committee to address the issue of sexual and reproductive health specifically, today of all days,” said Tewodros Melesse, IPPF’s Director General.

“Sadly millions of women are still denied their basic rights because they are poor, because they suffer discrimination or because they lack legal protection.” 

The 18 independent members of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights said that the right to sexual and reproductive health was not only an integral part of the general right to health, but fundamentally linked to the enjoyment of many other human rights, including the rights to education, work and equality.

They said that a lack of care for mothers in childbirth or a lack of access to safe abortion, often leading to maternal death, constitutes a violation of the right to life, and in certain circumstances can amount to torture.

“No woman should die in childbirth in 2016 because of a lack of adequate care,” said Mr Melesse.

“We know that access to safe abortion saves women’s lives, yet millions are denied that right.”

IPPF is a network of sexual and reproductive health and rights organisations in 170 countries that are equipped to monitor and respond to any member of the public who wants information, services, contraception and access to abortion and are available to serve at the first point of response.

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