European Disability Forum: It is time to ensure the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women with disabilities!
Women and girls with disabilities have always been considered by society either has non-sexual or too sexual. They have been considered unfit to live with a partner and be a mother. Their sexual and reproductive health has been neglected.
This is not only wrong, it also leaves women and girls with disabilities more vulnerable to sexual abuse, violence, unwanted pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases.
This is why the European Disability Forum (EDF) is today [7 March] releasing the position paper “Sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls with disabilities“. The paper highlights:
- Women’s decisions on their own bodies are personal and private. No one should interfere on the autonomous choices of women with disabilities.
- States need to ensure that women with disabilities are well informed about their rights. All decisions should be taken with their fully informed and prior consent.
- The above applies also to abortion. States should decriminalise abortion in all circumstances and legalise it in a manner that fully respects the auonomy of women with disabilities.
- States need to assure the end all forms of discrimination and abuse. This includes forced sterilisation, forced abortion, forced contraception, female genital mutilation and incest.
- States need to ensure that all women with disabilities have full access to justice.
- States need to assure that all women with disabilities have access to proper sexual and reproductive healthcare and education.