REPROHEALTHLAW Updates – June 2019

June 28, 2019

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DEVELOPMENTS:

[abortion, Germany]: Two more doctors fined for “advertising” abortion.  Newspaper report.  Criminal restrictions on abortion “advertising” restricts information provision – comment by Stephanie Schlitt.

[abortion, United Kingdom] UK Appeal court overturns forced abortion ruling. Termination had been said to be in best interests of woman with learning disabilities. The Guardian newspaper.

[abortion law, Croatia]:  Constitutional Court decision of February 21, 2017.  Rješenje Ustavnog Suda Republike Hrvatske, broj: U-I-60/1991 i dr. od 21.veljace 2017.  Decision in Croatian.  Summary from CRR.   Court’s press release.   New: Judgment translated into English.    I-CONnect Symposium online.

[abortion law, Mexico]  Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, Primera Sala [Supreme Court] 2019,  Amparo en Revisión 1388/2015
[Case of “Marisa,” ruled that abortion should be allowed when mother’s health at risk]  May 15, 2019.  Decision in Spanish.   Backup copy.

[Costa Rica] Emergency contraception (Levonorgestrel) approved by Ministry of Health, for sale without prescription.  News article.

[homosexuality rulings]:
“Botswana’s High Court decriminalizes gay sex.”  June 12, 2019.  New York Times report.
“India: [Supreme] Court legalises gay sex in landmark ruling,” Sept 6, 2018.  BBC Report.
“Kenya: High Court upholds a ban on gay sex.”  EG & 7 others v Attorney General; DKM & 9 others Petition 150 & 234 of 2016 (consolidated), decision May 24, 2019  Decision online.    New York Times report.  Activists plan to appeal. Human Rights Watch report.

SCHOLARSHIP:

[abortion law, Brazil, Portuguese and English article]
—— “Constitucionalização do aborto no Brasil: uma análise a partir do caso da gravidez anencefálica,” por Marta Rodriguez de Assis Machado y Rebecca J. Cook. Revista Direito e Práxis, Ahead of print, Rio de Janeiro, 2019. DOI: 10.1590/2179-8966/2019/43406
Disponível em: Portugues, antes da impressão.
Resumo en Portugues.

—— “Constitutionalizing abortion in Brazil,” Marta Rodriguez de Assis Machado y Rebecca J. Cook. Revista de Investigações Constitucionais, Curitiba, vol. 5, n. 3, p. 185-231, set./dez. 2018. DOI: 10.5380/rinc.v5i3.60973. Article in English. Abstract and related resources.

[abortion law, Chile] The misrepresentation of conscientious objection as a new strategy of resistance to abortion decriminalisation,” by Verónica Undurraga and Michelle Sadler, Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters 27.2 (2019):1–3.  Abstract on Reprohealthlaw.   Article online

[abortion law, Croatia]: “Symposium: The 2017 Croatian Constitutional Court’s Abortion Ruling,” International Journal of Constitutional Law Blog (I-CONnect), June 15-18, 2019) includes comments from 3 legal scholars:
—— “Reconciling with the Past, Looking to the Future,” by Prof. Djordje Gardašević  Introduction
—— “A Nominal Win for Reproductive Freedom,” by Prof. Ana Horvat Vuković   Reproductive Freedom.
—— “Finding Common Ground amid Differences in Approach,” by Prof. Sonia Human  Common Ground.

[abortion law, South Korea] “Punishment for Abortion will Vanish from Korea’s Criminal Code: the April 2019 Constitutional Court Decision,” by Professor Hyunah Yang, Seoul National University School of Law  Commentary on Reprohealthlaw.

[USA]:  Reproductive Rights and Justice Stories (Law Stories Series), ed. Melissa Murray, Katherine Shaw, and Reva B. Siegel. Foundation Press, 2019. includes litigation stories behind important cases. Publisher’s summary.   Symposium about the book

US-focused news, resources, and legal developments are available  on Repro Rights Prof Blog. View or subscribe.

REPORTS

[Dominican Republic] “I Felt Like the World Was Falling Down on Me,”  Adolescent Girls’ Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the Dominican Republic (New York: Human Rights Watch, June 18, 2019)     Report in English.   en Español

[Honduras]  “Life or Death Choices for Women Living Under Honduras’ Abortion Ban,” (Human Rights Watch, 2019) Report in English.    en Español

[sex education – Canada] Canadian Guidelines for Sexual Health Education (updated edition, SIECAN (Sex Information & Education Council of Canada), May 1, 2019)  Guidelines, in Englishet en Francais.

JOBS

Links to employers in the field of Reproductive and Sexual Health Law are online here.
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REPROHEALTHLAW Updates – May 2019

May 27, 2019

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DEVELOPMENTS:

Argentina: Doctor convicted of obstructing a legal abortion for raped woman, May 21, 2019  Report from Safe Abortion Campaign.

Canada: Ontario: Top Court rules that religious doctors must offer patients an ‘effective referral’ for assisted dying, abortion and birth control.  Report from Safe Abortion Campaign.

South Korean Constitutional Court (Case on the Crime of Abortion
Apr 11, 2019 / Case No. : 2017Hun-Ba127, KCCR) held provisions of “Abortion Prohibition Law” (1953) penalizing women and doctors for abortion are inconsistent with the Constitution.  If these provisions are not amended before Dec 31 2020, the law will be automatically abolished.  Link to official summary through “Major Decisions” on Court websiteBBC News report Abstract and Article (2012) about the law.   Reprohealthlaw Blog comment by South Korean Legal Scholar.

SCHOLARSHIP:

[abortion – Northern Ireland] “Standing and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission,” by Jane M. Rooney,  Modern Law Review 82.3 (May 2019): 525-48.  Abstract and Institutional access to article.

[abortion – South Africa] “International human rights norms and the South African choice on termination of pregnancy act: an argument for vigilance and modernisation,”  Lucía Berro Pizzarossa & Ebenezer Durojaye, South African Journal on Human Rights 35.1 (April 2019): 50-69.  Abstract and Article.

[abortion – South Korea, before 2019 ruling] “Abortion in South Korea: The Law and the Reality, by Woong Kyu Sung,  International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family 26(3), (2012), 278–305.  Abstract and Article

The Conscience Wars: Rethinking the Balance between Religion, Identity, and Equality, ed. Susanna Mancini & Michel Rosenfeld (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2018)  Publisher’s websiteTable of Contents with Links.

[Conscience, Italy, ESCR ruling]  “Objection ladies! Taking IPPF-EN v Italy one step further,” by Emmanuelle Bribosia, Ivana Isailovic and Isabelle Rorive, in Integrated Human Rights in Practice-Rewriting Human Rights Decisions, ed. Eva Brems and Ellen Desmet (Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar, 2017) 261-285. About the bookWorking paper PDF online.

[Conscientious Objection] “Seeking to Square the Circle:  Conscientious objection in Reproductive Healthcare by Emmanuelle Bribosia and Isabelle Rorive, in: Susanna Mancini & Michel Rosenfeld, eds., The Conscience Wars: Rethinking the Balance between Religion, Identity, and Equality,  (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2018)    Institutional Access working paper PDF online.

[Sex education] “The Challenges of Girls’ Right to Education: Let’s talk about Human Rights-based Sex education,” by Meghan Campbell, The International Journal of Human Rights, 20.8 (2016): 1219-1243, Online here

JOBS

Links to employers in the field of Reproductive and Sexual Health Law are online here.

______________
Compiled by: the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, reprohealth*law at utoronto.ca.   See Program website for our PublicationsInformation resources, and Reprohealthlaw Commentaries Series.
TO JOIN THE REPROHEALTHLAW BLOG: enter your email address in the upper right corner of our blog, then check your email to confirm the subscription.

 


Human Rights-based Sex Education – article by Meghan Campbell

May 27, 2019

Congratulations to Meghan Campbell, a Lecturer in Law at the University of Birmingham, U.K., who recently published a book, Women, Poverty, Equality: The Role of CEDAW  (Hart Publishing, 2018).   More about the CEDAW book.
We are pleased to circulate an abstract and excerpt from Meghan Campbell’s earlier article, published in The International Journal of Human Rights:

Meghan Campbell, “The Challenges of Girls’ Right to Education: Let’s talk about Human rights-based Sex education,” The International Journal of Human Rights, 20.8 (2016): 1219-1243, Article online

The United Nations human rights framework offers new ways of conceptualising sex education. Although none of the treaties explicitly refer to sex education, an analysis of the rights contained in the core treaties demonstrates that there is a positive obligation on the state to provide sex education to fulfil the human rights of girls and women. A human rights perspective offers a framework in which to address the challenges to delivery of sex education. It is argued that due to the significance of the human rights that are fulfilled by sex education it is proportionate to limit the role of religious and cultural norms in delivery of sex education. (p.1219)

Section I [of this article] analyses the current challenges girls face in accessing human rights-based sex education. Around the world girls are not provided with comprehensive knowledge on their sexual and reproductive rights. Their ability to access sex education is often limited due to a combination of conservative religious and cultural norms and a lack of legal accountability and monitoring for the provision of sex education. Section II argues that there is an inter-woven commitment to high-quality sex education in crucial UN human rights treaties. The provision of human rights-based sex education is a necessary and positive obligation on the state to fulfil its human rights commitments. Section III evaluates how the UN treaty bodies have developed the state’s obligation to provide sex education. Although the treaty bodies have made some positive developments, they have not specifically addressed the most pressing obstacles to sex education.

The final section investigates how the state’s positive obligation to provide sex education can be fully developed. It specifically focuses on mediating the tensions between conservative religious and cultural norms and the delivery of comprehensive, human rights-based sex education. It concludes with recommendations for how the treaty bodies can address the obstacles to sex education and thereby begin to ensure that all girls are able to enjoy their equal rights to high-quality education.    (p. 1220)

Keywords:
sex education; right to education; gender equality; role of religion; UN treaty bodies

Related Resource on Sexuality Education and Human Rights, by María José Rivas Vera:

“Sexuality Education in Paraguay: Using Human Rights and International Policies to define adolescents’ right to sexuality education,”  LL.M. thesis, by María José Rivas Vera, 2015.  Abstract online.

New book by Meghan Campbell:

Women, Poverty, Equality: The Role of CEDAW  (Hart Publishing, 2018) Abstract and Table of Contents.
______________
Compiled by: the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, reprohealth*law at utoronto.ca.   See Program website for our PublicationsInformation resources, and Reprohealthlaw Commentaries Series.
TO JOIN THE REPROHEALTHLAW BLOG: enter your email address in the upper right corner of our blog, then check your email to confirm the subscription.


“Abortion and Public Health Ethics” by Dr. Mahmoud Fathalla

March 15, 2019

Congratulations and thanks to Dr. Mahmoud F. Fathalla of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Assiut University in Egypt, whose article in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of  Public Health Ethics can now be previewed online.

Mahmoud F. Fathalla, “Abortion and Public Health Ethics,” The Oxford Handbook of Public Health Ethics, ed. Anna C. Mastroianni, Jeffrey P. Kahn, and Nancy E. Kass, Oxford Handbooks Online,  February 2019,  Article online.

Abstract:
There is an ethical imperative to take public health action to eliminate the global problem of unsafe abortion. The moral obligation is dictated by the magnitude of the problem, the health inequities and social injustices that result from lack of access to safe abortion, the voices of women calling for action, and an international consensus recognizing unsafe abortion as a global health problem. The availability of public health interventions and the cost savings associated with fewer abortion complications reinforce the obligation to address unsafe abortion. Public health actions include reducing the need for abortion through family planning, providing safe abortion to the full extent of the law, managing abortion complications, and providing post-abortion care. These actions intersect with morality, religion, law, justice, and human rights. The public health community has a collective social and ethical responsibility to stand beside and behind women as they claim their human right to health.

Keywords:
public health ethics, abortion, unsafe abortion, public health, global health, justice, family planning, human rights

The full text of this article is online here.

RELATED RESOURCE:
Reproductive health and public health ethics” by B.M. Dickens and R.J. Cook (2007) 99 International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 75-79.
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Kenyan High Court upholds human and constitutional rights to maternal dignity and reproductive healthcare

March 15, 2019

Many thanks to Naitore Nyamu, an LL.M. student in the graduate program in Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa at the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Human Rights, for contributing a detailed abstract of this progressive Kenyan ruling for Legal Grounds III: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts, online edition.

J O O (also known as J M) v Attorney General & 6 others [2018] Petition No 5 of 2014, (High Court of Kenya at Bungoma), March 22, 2018.  Case summary by Naitore Nyamu.   Court decision.

The case summary by Naitore Nyamu explains how, on 5 August, 2013, a low-income pregnant woman sought healthcare for delayed labour and suffered neglect, privations and expenses from an ill-funded county hospital, and humiliating personal abuse from its nurses.  She later filed a constitutional petition alleging various violations of her rights as stipulated in the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and she also made reference to rights recognized in international human rights treaties to which Kenya is a party.

The Court held that the Petitioner’s right to maternal health care had been infringed and that the abusive actions of the nurses and the Hospital denied, derogated and demeaned the Petitioner’s worth.  Hence, the Court found a violation of her right to dignity contrary to the provisions of Article 28 and a violation of her freedom and security, including the right not to be treated in a cruel, inhuman and degrading manner, contrary to Article 29 (j) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. Additionally, the Court held that the national and county governments had failed to devote adequate resources to healthcare services and had not established effective measures to implement, monitor and provide minimum acceptable standards of health care. This is a violation of the Constitution and the international instruments that Kenya has ratified.

As Naitore Nyamu comments in her case summary, the Kenyan Constitution of 2010 has an expansive Bill of Rights, including the right to sexual and reproductive health, but women in Kenya cannot access maternal care in a dignified manner. One of the tenets of devolving the health services was to increase accessibility of better health care services to all citizenry. The treatment the Petitioner received at the Hospital leaves a lot of questions on whether the County Governments want to make the right to health and sexual and reproductive health rights a reality.  This case highlights how deep-rooted and systemic the violations of the rights to maternal health care are in Kenya. It also illustrates the many obstacles and humiliations that women seeking maternal health care can face in public health institutions.

This High Court judgment in J.O.O. reinforces the decision in Millicent Awuor Omuya alias Maimuna Awuor & Another v. The Attorney General & 4 Others (2015), (Petition No. 562 of 2012), where it was held that the National and County Governments do not require resources to accord respect to women seeking services in public institutions such as hospitals.  The Court’s reliance on provisions of international legal instruments ensured that the Court interpreted this issue from a wide spectrum of human rights provisions, hence this is a very progressive ruling that sets high standards. The Court found that the actions and omissions of the respondents were in violation of numerous rights as provided in the international treaties that Kenya has ratified. This signifies that it is not enough to just ratify conventions; states must equally ensure realization of the rights in these conventions. It was also an indication that Kenya cannot ratify conventions and fail to effect what these provisions stipulate.

For details, see Naitore Nyamu’s full case summary, online here, or  the High Court’s decision of March 22, 2018 online here.

An earlier Kenyan case of maternal abuse is abstracted in Legal Grounds III: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts:

Other decisions from this chapter are summarized in Legal Grounds III.

Maternal Health Care and Services  – thematic highlight by Tinyade Kachika

Legal Grounds III: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts (Pretoria: Pretoria University Law Press, 2017)   54 court decisions from 2008-2016   Online edition with updates.   Entire book, 228-pages 

Legal Grounds I and II  are online at the Center for Reproductive Rights.
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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.


REPROHEALTHLAW Updates – February 2019

February 19, 2019

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DEVELOPMENTS:

[abortion] Ireland – The Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act was signed into law, effective January 1, 2019.  Medical Council also deleted four of the five paragraphs dealing with abortion from its guide on professional conduct and ethics because they conflicted with the Act.  Newspaper article.

[abortion -Northern Ireland] UK Supreme Court had ruled in June ([2018] UKSC 27 (7 June 2018)  On appeal from: [2017] NICA 42that violation of European Convention on Human Rights could not be decided without at least one complainant.  On January 30, 2019,  Sara Ewart, who had once travelled for abortion of a fatally impaired fetus, launched a case that could find Northern Ireland’s abortion law in breach of the UK’s human rights commitments. She is supported by Amnesty International.  News articleAmnesty International press release.

[conscience – institutional] Chile, Constitutional Court upheld an unconstitutionality claim against the government’s new Regulations about the scope of “institutional” conscientious objection for private facilities and clinics.  STC Rol N° 5572-18-CDS / 5650-18-CDS (acumuladas). January 18, 2019.   Spanish decision  English news report.

[conscience]   Norway: Supreme Court upholds rights of doctor who refused to insert IUD.  Two cases: I. Sauherad municipality (Counsel Frode Lauareid) v. A, Norges Kristelige Legeforening (intervener) (Counsel Håkon H. Bleken), II. A, Norges Kristelige Legeforening (intervener) (Counsel Håkon H. Bleken) v. Sauherad municipality (Counsel Frode Lauareid, HR-2018-1958-A (case no. 2018/199), 11 October 2018 (Supreme Court of Norway) Judgment online in English – official translation.      Newspaper article.

[stigma] US:  Vending Machines Offer Emergency Contraception Without the Stigma introduced in 2012, now at several campuses, including Stanford University.   News report.

SCHOLARSHIP:

[abortion access]  Crossing Troubled Waters: Abortion in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Prince Edward Island, ed. Colleen MacQuarrie, Fiona Bloomer, Claire Pierson and Shannon Stettner (Charlottetown, PEI, Canada: Island Studies Press, 2018). 288 pages.      Table of ContentsPublisher’s web page.

[abortion law]   “Criminal law and the risk of harm: a commentary on the impact of criminal laws on sexual and reproductive health, sexual conduct and key populations,” by Veronica Birga, Luisa Cabal, Lucinda O’Hanlon & Christina Zampas.   Reproductive Health Matters, 26.52 (2018): 33-37 Article online.

[abortion law, Argentina] Federalism, two-level games and the politics of abortion rights implementation in sub-national Argentina, by Alba Ruibal, in Reproductive Health Matters 26:54 (Nov. 2018): 137-144.   Article in English with abstracts in English. French & Spanish.

[abortion law, Argentina] “Legal obstacles and social change: strategies of the abortion rights movement in Argentina,” by Alba Ruibal and Cora Fernandez Anderson, in Politics, Groups and Identity,  preview November 2018, 17 pages.  Institutional access.   Abstract from Safe Abortion.

[abortion law, Argentina]”Federalism and subnational legal mobilization: feminist litigation strategies in Salta, Argentina,” by Alba Ruibal,  Law & Society Review,  32-page preview 29 October 2018. Institutional access.    Abstract from Safe Abortion.

[abortion law – Brazil]  Constitutionalizing Abortion in Brazil, by Marta Machado and Rebecca J. Cook, Revista de Investigações Constitucionais / Journal of Constitutional Research, vol. 5, n. 3 (set./dez. 2018) pp.185-231.  Abstract and Article PDF.   Also at SSRN.

[abortion law – Brazil and Mexico]  “Constitutionalism and rights protection in Mexico and Brazil: comparative remarks, by Francisca Pou Giménez, in Revista de Investigações Constitucionais / Journal of Constitutional Research, vol. 5, n. 3 (set./dez. 2018) pp 233-255  Abstract and article PDF.

[abortion law, Dominican Republic]  “It’s Your Decision.  It’s Your Life:  Total criminalization of abortion in the Dominican Republic.”  interviews, plus legal overview and recommendations.  (Human Rights Watch, Nov 19, 2018).   84 pages. English PDF    Spanish PDF.   Online in English.    Overview with 5-minute video.

[abortion law -Ireland]  “Abortion, the Irish Constitution, and constitutional change” by David Kenny, Revista de Investigações Constitucionais / Journal of Constitutional Research, vol. 5, n. 3 (set./dez. 2018) pp. 257-275.   Abstract and Article PDF.

[abortion law, Mexico] “Maternidad o Castigo:  La criminalización del aborto en Mexico,”  (Mexico, GIRE, 2018)  [Report in Spanish:] Informe de 72 paginas.  For executive summary in English, see: Motherhood or Punishment: The criminalization of abortion in Mexico:  English summary.

[abortion law] “Northern Ireland and Abortion Law Reform,” by Kathryn McNeilly, Fiona Bloomer and Claire Pierson,  Queen’s University, Ulster University and University of Liverpool, Sept. 2018, open access, 8 pages.  Briefing Paper.

[adolescents]  “(De)Criminalizing Adolescent Sex: A rights-based assessment of age of consent laws in Eastern and Southern Africa,” by Godfrey Dalitso Kangaude and Ann Skelton, SAGE Open (Oct-Dec 2018): 1 –12.   Article online.   Abstract.

[conscience]  “Objection ladies! Taking IPPF-EN v. Italy one step further, by Emmanuelle Bribosia, Ivana Isailovic and Isabelle  Rorive, in:  Integrated Human Rights in Practice:Rewriting Human Rights Decisions, ed. Eva Brems and Ellen Desmet (Cheltenham, UK:  Elgar, 2018).  Abstract and previous version.

[conscience]  “Religious Refusals and Reproductive Rights,” by Louise Melling, chapter 14 in:  The Conscience Wars: Rethinking the Balance between Religion, Identity, and Equality, ed. Susanna Mancini and Michel Rosenfeld (Cambridge, UK:  Cambridge University Press, 2018)  pp. 375-391.   Institutional Access.

[conscience]  “Seeking to square the circle:  Conscientious objection in Reproductive Healthcare” by Emmanuelle Bribosia and Isabelle  Rorive, chapter 15 in:  The Conscience Wars: Rethinking the Balance between Religion, Identity, and Equality, ed. Susanna Mancini and Michel Rosenfeld (Cambridge, UK:  Cambridge University Press, 2018)  pp. 392-413.  Institutional Access.    Abstract and previous version

 

[gender stereotyping, I.V. v. Bolivia, sterilization]  “The human rights impact of gender stereotyping in the context of reproductive health care,” by Ciara O’Connell and Christina Zampas,  International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 144 (2019):  116–121.  PDF online here.

[maternal health] Impact of reproductive evolutionary mismatch on women’s health and the need for action and research, by Mahmoud F. Fathalla, International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 144 (Feb. 2019): 129–134.  Institutional Access.  

[New book] Beyond Virtue and Vice:  Rethinking Human Rights and Criminal Law
ed.  Alice M. Miller and Mindy Jane Roseman,  Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019)  360 pages. Book information.
Intro and chapters 1 and 3 online.
Chapters about abortion law include:
ο    “Abortion as Treason: Sexuality and nationalism in France” by Mindy Jane Roseman
ο    “Criminal Law, Activism and Sexual and Reproductive Justice: What we can learn from the sex selection campaign in India,” by Geetanjali Misra and Vrinda Marwah
ο    “Harm Production: An argument for decriminalization,”  by Joanna N. Erdman

JOBS

Links to employers in the field of Reproductive and Sexual Health Law are online here.

Senior Vice President, Global Legal Program, Center for Reproductive Rights, New York, USA.    Job details and application form.

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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.

 

 

 

 


Human rights impact of gender stereotyping in reproductive health care

February 19, 2019

Congratulations and thanks to Ciara O’Connell of the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Human Rights, and Christina Zampas,  a Fellow in the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law, whose co-authored article was recently published in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics:

“The human rights impact of gender stereotyping in the context of reproductive health care,” by Ciara O’Connell and Christina Zampas,  International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 144 (2019):  116–121.  PDF online here.

Abstract:
Gender stereotypes surrounding women’s reproductive health impede women’s access to essential reproductive healthcare and contribute to inequality more generally. Stereotyping in healthcare settings impedes women’s access to contraceptive information, services, and induced abortion, and lead to involuntary interventions in the context of sterilization. Decisions by human rights monitoring bodies, such as the Inter‐American Court of Human Rights’ case, IV v. Bolivia, which was a case concerned with the involuntary sterilization of a woman during childbirth, highlight how stereotypes in the context of providing health care can operate to strip women of their agency and decision‐making authority, deny them their right to informed consent, reinforce gender hierarchies and violate their reproductive rights. In the present article, IV v. Bolivia is examined as a case study with the objective being to highlight how, in the context of coercive sterilization, human rights law has been used to advance legal and ethical guidelines, including the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics’ (FIGO) own guidelines, on gender stereotyping and reproductive healthcare. The Inter‐American Court’s judgment in IV v. Bolivia illustrates the important role FIGO’s guidance can play in shaping human rights standards and provides guidance on the service provider’s role and responsibility in eliminating gender stereotypes and upholding and fulfilling human rights.

KEYWORDS
Ethical standards; FIGO guidelines; Forced sterilization; Human rights; Human rights law;  Informed consent; Inter-American Court of Human Rights; Stereotypes.
The published article is online here.
__________________
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.