Reproductive rights

You have the right to maintain your reproductive and sexual health at the highest attainable standard and make any decisions related to it freely. Your reproductive rights are a part of the human right to health and the right to a private life.

What is reproductive and sexual health?

Reproductive health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. Reproductive health implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so.

To protect your reproductive and sexual health and any decisions made in this area, reproductive rights include access to information about reproductive and sexual health and access to sexual and reproductive health care as provided by law.

What are reproductive rights?

Reproductive rights encompass the following aspects:

  • your right to be informed about the state of your reproductive and sexual health
  • your right to make any decisions related to your reproductive and sexual health freely
  • your right to equally access and receive necessary reproductive and sexual health care, including medical assistance during pregnancy and child birth, as well as in the termination of pregnancy and sterilisation
  • your right to artificial reproduction
  • your right to donate your sperm or ovum
  • your right to medical data protection 

Restrictions on your reproductive rights interfere with the human right to a private life and/or the human right to health, but such interference will not always result in a violation of these rights.

Reproductive rights & Human rights

Your reproductive and sexual health, as well as any decisions you may wish to take in that regard, are closely linked to your private life. The right to make decisions about your body and health is an aspect of your personal autonomy or physical integrity. Respect for a private life also includes the right to establish and to develop intimate and sexual relationships with others regardless of their gender identity, sex characteristics or sexual orientation. This can be linked further to your right to choose whether to become a parent or not.   

About this section

In this section, you can learn about different aspects of human rights related to your reproductive and sexual health and the kind of protection which is guaranteed by reproductive rights.


Last updated 24/07/2020