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View Reproductive rights

Reproductive rights are rights relating to reproduction and reproductive health. The World Health Organization defines reproductive rights as:

“Reproductive rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. They also include the right of all to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence.”

Reproductive rights also include the right to be free to use technology to determine the characteristics of an unborn child. However, these rights are not recognized internationally. In fact, such technologies are illegal in many countries.

Many passionate advocates of reproductive rights oppose giving parents the right to choose traits such as sex, as they fear a patriarchy-rooted gender imbalance. However, technoprogressives generally recognize the right of the individual to have control over their fetuses, regardless of the quality of their reasons behind their actions.

Reproductive rights were first established as a subset of human rights at the United Nation’s 1968 International Conference on Human Rights. The sixteenth article of the resulting Proclamation of Teheran states, “Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and the spacing of their children.”

In 2008, a mother who already had several children and gave birth to octuplets raised controversy about just how far reproductive freedoms and the right to choose the number of children an individual has should extend.

Worldwide, issues related to reproductive rights are some of the most vigorously contested, regardless of the population’s socioeconomic level, religion or culture.

Reproductive rights can include: the right to legal and safe abortion; the right to control one’s reproductive functions; the right to choose the characteristics of one’s offspring, including traits such as sex; the right to access quality reproductive healthcare; access to whatever safe emerging reproductive technologies become available within reasonable Regulation, including Germinal choice and germline engineering, genetic engineering, and Reproductive cloning; and the right to education and access in order to make all reproductive choices free from coercion, discrimination, and violence. Reproductive rights may also be understood to include education about contraception and sexually transmitted infections, and freedom from coerced sterilization and contraception, protection from gender-based practices such as female genital cutting and male genital mutilation.

As we move towards a postgendered world, reproductive rights will take on whole new meanings as anyone may be able to bear a child with technologies such as artificial wombs. Further, parents will no longer need to be two individuals of the opposite sex. Already some research has made progress towards giving lesbians the capability of having children, genetically linked to both partners by merging two eggs.

Sex Selection and Women’s Reproductive Rights
When 8 is more than enough: It’s time for some meaningful regulation