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 and sexual health is the physical, mental and social well-being related to the human reproductive system. 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 health
  • your right to make any decisions related to your reproductive health freely
  • your right to equally access and receive necessary reproductive 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 relationships with others, especially in the emotional and sexual field. 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.

Human Rights Guide

A European platform for human rights education