Reproductive Autonomy of Women and Girls under the Disabilities Convention

Congratulations to Prof. Charles Ngwena of the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, South Africa, whose valuable article has recently been published in the Ethical and Legal Issues section of the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. We are pleased to circulate the following abstract:

Reproductive Autonomy of Women and Girls under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,”  by Prof. Charles Ngwena, International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 140.1 (Jan. 2018):128-133PDF online for 12 months.          Submitted text at SSRN

Women and girls with disabilities have historically been denied the freedom to make their own choices in matters relating to their reproduction. In the healthcare sector they experience multiple discriminatory practices. Women and girls with intellectual disabilities are particularly vulnerable to coerced or forced medical interventions. The present article considers the contribution the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities makes towards affirming the rights of women and girls with disabilities to enjoy reproductive autonomy, including autonomy related to reproductivehealth, on an equal basis with individuals without disabilities. The Convention is paradigm-setting in its maximal approach to affirming the rights of  individuals with disabilities to make autonomous choices under conditions of equality and non-discrimination.  The Convention is the first human rights treaty to clearly affirm that impairment of decision-making skills is not a justification for depriving a person with cognitive or intellectual disability of legal capacity.

Key words: Abortion; Disability; Equality; Legal capacity; Non-discrimination; Reasonable accommodation; Reproductive autonomy; Reproductive health

The published article is online in PDF at Wiley Library.
Full text, as submitted, is online at SSRN.
Ethical and Legal Issues in Reproductive Health: 80 other concise articles.


Compiled by the Coordinator of the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, reprohealth*law at utoronto.ca For Program publications and resources, see our website, online here. TO JOIN THIS BLOG: enter your email address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.

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