REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS AND ACCESS

Reproductive rights are basic human rights governing issues surrounding reproductive health and reproduction. The World Health Organization suggests that 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. In essence, reproductive rights are a part of Human rights that has to do with people's reproductive aspect of life. 

In many cases, these rights are centred around women and girls because they carry the most burden of reproduction, however, men are also entitled to some rights that affect them which must be taken into note.

As explained earlier, reproductive rights focus on the reproductive aspect of families, however these rights differ from country-to-country and even from state-to-state within a country based on the laws domiciled in the area. Some of these rights include;
- Right to life, liberty and the security of the person
- Right to health care and information
- Right to safe legalize abortion 
- Right to birth control and child spacing
- Freedom from coerced sterilization and contraception
- Right to access good-quality reproductive healthcare
- Right to receive education on sexually transmitted infections and other aspects of sexuality
- Right to menstrual health and protection from practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM)
- Right to non-discrimination in the allocation of resources to health services and in their availability and accessibility.
- Right to autonomy and privacy in making sexual and reproductive decisions.
- Right to informed consent and confidentiality concerning health services.

Access to Reproductive Rights
Access to reproductive rights is naturally inherent, but it falls on governments, agencies, and organizations to ensure these rights are fully accessed and enjoyed by citizens. For instance, the Ministry of Health provides healthcare facilities and programs to support citizens in need of reproductive services. Additionally, organizations such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN), and Marie Stopes (MSI Nigeria) work to promote access to reproductive rights.

In cases of rights infringement, governments and law enforcement agencies are responsible for seeking justice for victims and punishing violators. Reproductive rights are essential human rights that affect the reproductive lives of families and should be protected and upheld by all.

Reproductive rights are human rights that affect the reproductive lives of families. These rights include the right to access safe and legal abortion and the right to autonomy and privacy in making sexual and reproductive decisions among others. The government, through healthcare facilities make reproductive health services available and accessible, the law enforcement agencies seek redress and justice on behalf of victims and punish violators of those rights.

Kemuel Kefas

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