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Reproductive Rights In India
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Reproductive Rights In India

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Reproductive Rights In India

Reproductive Rights In India


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  • 1. + Know Your Reproductive Rights Human Rights Law Network
  • 2. + What are Reproductive Rights?  Right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children.  Right to information and means to do so.  Right to highest standard of reproductive health.  Right to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion, violence.  Why is this important?  Women as objects of control;  Health care;  Death.  Empirically, Courts have been at the forefront of expanding, protecting, and promoting reproductive rights.
  • 3. + What are Reproductive Rights? - International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) 1994  Women have the right to:  Decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of their children;  Have the information and means to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of their children;  Attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health   Meaning: YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to be physically, mentally, and socially healthy with access to medical, mental, and social facilities, services, and supports to exercise your sexual and reproductive rights Make decisions about your reproduction free of discrimination, coercion, and violence  It is YOUR DECISION whether you have 0, 1 or 7 children  It is your decision whether you undergo female sterilization now or when you are 50 or not at all
  • 4. + What are Reproductive Rights? - Beijing Platform for Action 1995  The promotion of these rights should be the fundamental basis for government and communitysponsored policies and programmes  The government must consider your rights as a fundamental part of the laws it enacts, the policies it puts in place, and the programmes it creates
  • 5. + Right to EQUALITY in Reproductive Decisions  The Right to Equality in Reproductive Decisions includes the right to:  Choose whether and when to marry and start a family;   Marriage should be with the full, free, and informed consent of both individuals Decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of your children  You have the right to make reproductive decisions when it comes to your body, your health, and your family
  • 6. + Right to Sexual and Reproductive SECURITY  The Right to Sexual and Reproductive Security gives you the right to:  Live a life free of gender-based violence   This includes sexual violence, incest, trafficking, dowry related violence, and rape based on the fact that you are female Protection of physical and mental integrity  You have the right to live a life free of mental harm and violence based on the fact that you are female
  • 7. + Right to Reproductive and Sexual HEALTH SERVICES  The Right to Reproductive and Sexual Health Services includes the right to:  Safe and affordable methods of family planning,    If you decide to have children, you will be able to do so in a safe environment with medical care and assistance If you decide to use family planning services, you will have access to these services in a safe and hygienic environment Safe motherhood,  You have the right to survive pregnancy!  Nearly one lakh women die each year during child-birth  A fifth of these pregnancies are unwanted
  • 8. + Right to Reproductive and Sexual Health Services  Management of gynecological problems, infertility, prevention; and  Treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases sexually transmitted infections, and HIV/AIDS  If you are HIV/AIDS positive or have an STI, you have the right to medical treatment;  The high incidence of sexually transmitted diseases, infections, and HIV/AIDS reflects the practice of unsafe sex;  Those living with HIV/AIDS have to live not only with the disease, but also the stigma that goes with it
  • 9. + Right to Access to Information and Education  The Right of Access to Information and Education include the right to:  Access information regarding sexual and reproductive issues so that you can make informed decisions;  This information must be provided in a clear, complete, and sensitive manner
  • 10. + Maternal Mortality  India accounts for 20% of the maternal deaths worldwide.  MMR average: 240   One in 70 women is at risk of maternal death  A woman in India dies every 8 minutes from childbirth related complications   Some states 480 China – 45, Ireland – 0, US12. About 75% of these deaths are preventable where women have access to family planning services and emergency obstetric care.
  • 11. + Abortion  Termination of pregnancy – safe and simple procedure  1/5 of pregnancies in India are unwanted or unplanned.  In India 2/3 of all abortions are unsafe – infertility, death.  Significant contributor to India’s MMR.  Every hour, 8 women and girls die from unsafe abortions.  About 18,000 women a year
  • 12. + Coercive Population Control  Sterilization  Number 1 form of birth control in India (no access to other forms of birth control)  Targets and incentives coercion (unethical)  Unsafe environments  Hysterectomies  No informed consent  Class/Social Group
  • 13. + Broadly Speaking  Access to good quality family planning services, counseling that respects the reproductive needs of individuals and couples, and prevention of unwanted pregnancy;  Provision of safe motherhood services and infant care during and after pregnancy;  Prevention of unsafe abortion and management of the consequences of unsafe abortion;  Prevention and management of reproductive disorders, including sexually transmitted diseases and sexually transmitted infections;  Prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS; and  Empowering adolescents by giving them comprehensive reproductive and sexual health information and education
  • 14. + Reproductive Rights: Issues  MM(maternal mortality)  Contraception  Abortion  Sex Education  Coercive Population Control  Sex ratio  Right to food (anemia, poverty)  Surrogacy  Housing  Clinical Trials  Child marriage  SC and ST  HIV/AIDS, Malaria  Youth sexual health  Cruel inhuman treatment  Gender-based discrimination
  • 15. + Constitution of India: National Law  Article 21: The Right to Life  “No person shall be deprived of his or her life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.” The Supreme Court of India issued that Article 21includes:  The right to health;  Violation: Maternal death  The right to be free from torture and inhuman treatment;  Violation: Forced abortion  The right to shelter;  Violation: Homeless pregnant and lactating women  The right to privacy; and  The right to dignity  Violation: Coercive female sterilization
  • 16. + Constitution of India: National Law  Article 14: The Right to Equal Access to the Law  “equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.”   You have as much right to access the law and its protections as anyone else in the country Article 15: The Right to Live without Discrimination  Discrimination against an Indian citizen based only on “religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, or any of them” is prohibited  No matter what your sex, age, place of birth or race, you have the right
  • 17. + CHARM vs. State of Bihar and Ors.(2011)  Denial of maternal health care in Bihar    Violations:  Collection of fees by doctors and nurses for referral and registration of pregnancy  Dilapidated and unsanitary health facilities without electricity, toilets, running water, and blood supplies  Lack of transportation services for pregnant women  Lack of safe abortion services  Lack of grievance redressal system for violations suffered Resulting in maternal deaths Argument: Bihar government has obligation to ensure access to maternal health services under the Constitution of India and international human rights law
  • 18. + Dunabai vs. State of MP and Ors. PIL  Fact-finding in tribal area where an adavasi woman had no choice but to give birth outside a hospital after repeated denial of medical treatment.  Govt health facilities functioned without blood, emergency obstetric facilities, basic medicines, adequate staff.  The High Court ordered state institutions to make immediate and specific changes regarding staff, medicines, equipment and facilities that would bring them up to the prescribed standards. The Court also ordered that the semigovernment monitoring committee that had initially found violations investigate to ensure that the Court orders were complied with. Dunabai
  • 19. + Ramakant Rai vs. Union of India Gross violations associated and Ors. with sterilization throughout  India.  Relevant law: Arts. 14 ,15, 21, 47, CEDAW, Beijing/Cairo.  Supreme Court  Limit number of doctors;  Pre-procedure check-list;  Uniform copies of consent forms;  Statistics  Inquire into violations/prosecution  Insurance policy  Devika Biswas vs. Union of India and Ors.
  • 20. + PRIYA KALE VS. NCT OF DELHI & ORS ( 2013)  In January 2013 the Times of India published an article about Priya Kale, a homeless woman who lost her baby to exposure after she delivered on the balcony of the homeless shelter where she lives.  A fact finding was conducted at the shelter. Families, including pregnant women live in absolute squalor and struggle to provide food to their families  A petition was filed in asking the court to issue immediate interim orders in the case for (1) maternal health care; (2) heaters; (3) hot water heaters for bathing; (4) three meals a day for all residents.
  • 21. + KALPANA MEHTA VS. UNION OF INDIA & ORS  In 2009, state governments issued the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine to over 24,000 adolescent girls in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.  The girls hail from extremely marginalized communities and did not provide full and informed consent before receiving the vaccine.  The Petitioners have asked for compensation and medical follow up for the girls and for the licenses of the products to be suspended until proper scientific and legal procedures are guaranteed.
  • 22. + Legal Protections  Constitution  Article 21  Article 14  Article 15  Laws  Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (1971):  Woman has right to medical termination of abortion up to 12 weeks (1 doctor) and 20 weeks (2 doctors) if giving birth would be cause unjust physical or mental harm to the women or the child would be born with severe defects.  National Entitlement Schemes  National Rural Health Mission  National maternity Benefit Scheme  Official guidelines
  • 23. + What You Can Do  Take what you’ve learned here, and share it with other women in your community  When you see a violation, report and record it! Keep records of what you see and talk to women who’s rights have been violated, then contact HRLN and meet with someone who can help you do something about it  Form a group that helps monitor reproductive rights violations in your community to raise awareness and share information and resources
  • 24. + THANK YOU

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