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    271885

    International trends in reproductive rights.

    Huston P

    [Unpublished] 1990 Jun. Paper presented at the 5th Annual International Women's Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) Conference: A Decade of the Women's Convention: Where are we? What's next?, Roosevelt Hotel, New York City, Jan. 20-22, 1990. 5 p.

    The acceptance and guarantee of a person's basic human right to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of one's children still remains an on-going challenge in legal and social institutions. Government's organized opposition to women's freedom in reproductive health care are illustrated in this paper by examples drawn from Romania, Singapore and the Soviet Union. In spite of the fact that the 1st mention of reproductive health care was paralleled to a basic human tight in the UN in 1966, such international guarantees are ignored by governments and powerful coalition groups thus denying the access and availability of services to millions of men and women. There are now around 300 million couples practicing responsible reproduction, an additional 300 million who are seeking such services and another 100-200 million who will join there 2 groups. Finding appropriate resources to meet the needs of education, information, counseling, and follow-up services are a few of the tasks facing administrators and policy-makers in the next decade. Strong political backing is a pre-requisite to assure success of such investments because of the existence of such groups as the anti-choice lobbyists in the US who have succeeded in denying US government funding to UNFPA and IPPF. Constant vigilance is a 2nd requirement to protect, defend and uphold women's right to reproductive choice. Providing women with legal mechanisms is essential if such practices as genital mutilation (female circumcision), child marriage, slavery and illegal prostitution are to be eradicated. The suggestion that 1994 be proclaimed "International Year of the Family" with the theme Family: Resources and Responsibilities in a Changing World, will allow NGO's to develop viable agendas to defend women's reproductive rights internationally. (author's modified)
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