Sexual and reproductive Rights ARE Human Rights!

06/12/2013

Joint statement by civil society organisations calling on Members of the European Parliament to support the amended Estrela Report on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in the plenary vote on 10 December.

Background:

The original report was meant to be voted for on 22 October 213, but instead was sent back to the EP’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality but due to intense lobbying by right-wind religious and political conservatives.

The report calls for universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights throughout Europe.

This includes safe and legal abortion services; comprehensive sexuality education; teaching about negative LGBTI stereotypes; or the prevention and treatment of sexually-transmitted diseases.

The non-binding report also contains several recommendations in favour of LGBTI people, including recommendations against the mandatory sterilisation of transgender persons; universal access to medically assisted procreation for single women and lesbian couples; or the right to access non-discriminatory information about sexual orientation and gender identity.

Religious and political conservatives lobbied intensely against this report with outright lies. They wrongly said, for instance, that the report would force Member States to change abortion rules, or include mandatory teaching about masturbation to 0-4 year-olds.

Greens/EFA political group at the European Parliament produced video explaining sexual and reproductive rights, what this report is about and what it is not.

ILGA-Europe is among the civil society organisations, joining this statement:

Sexual and Reproductive Rights ARE Human Rights!

Support the Estrela Report
on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Civil society and human rights organisations call on you to support the amended Estrela Report on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in the plenary vote on Tuesday.

SRHR are an integral part of the human rights that all EU Member States have committed to respect, protect and fulfill.

Every person in Europe has the right to make their own informed and responsible choices regarding their sexual and reproductive health, and to live their sexual lives free from harm, violence and discrimination.

The Estrela report makes the case for a broad spectrum of SRHR guaranteed to all individuals.

This report is balanced and fair:

1. It does not impose any obligations on Member States, but recommends that people have access to sexuality education, contraception and safe abortion when needed.

2. The report also takes into consideration gender-based violence, mostly against women, in the context of these rights.

3. The report also refers to the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS.

Extremist religious groups, representing only a tiny proportion of EU citizens, argue against this report because it supports people's right to live their sexual lives free from harm, violence and discrimination.

The overwhelming majority of people in the EU, including people from a wide variety of faith traditions, recognize everyone’s moral autonomy related to sexual and reproductive health and rights, particularly gender-specific healthcare such as women’s reproductive health access.

At a time when rising economic difficulties challenge the health information and treatment available to Europeans seeking to make healthy decisions, and with these challenges disproportionately affecting women and sexual minorities, we hope you will take a strong stand in favour of these rights on Tuesday.

Signatories

European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development

European Humanist Federation

ILGA-Europe

Catholics for Choice

European Women’s Lobby

International Planned Parenthood Federation- European Network

Center for Reproductive Rights

Irish Family Planning Association

FPFE Federación de Planificación Familiar Estatal

ASTRA Federation for Women and Family Planning

RFSU- The Swedish Association for Sexuality Education

Union des Familles Laïques

deMens.nu (freethinking humanism in Flanders and Brussels

UK- National Secular Society

EGALE

Ligue du Droit International des Femmes

UK Pink Triangle Trust

UK Central London Humanists

The Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association

Fundatia Centrul pentru Constiinta Critica

European Association for Free Thought

Gender Education, Research and Technologies foundation

Joint statement in PDF format

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