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World Contraception Day – Reinforcing the right to make educated choices about becoming pregnant

Written declaration No. 560 | Doc. 13329 | 03 October 2013

Ms Ulrika KARLSSON, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Ms Tina ACKETOFT, Sweden, ALDE ; Mr Lennart AXELSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Robert BIEDROŃ, Poland, SOC ; Ms Gülsün BİLGEHAN, Turkey, SOC ; Ms Sílvia Eloïsa BONET PEROT, Andorra, SOC ; Mr Mikael CEDERBRATT, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Mr Roel DESEYN, Belgium, EPP/CD ; Mr Arcadio DÍAZ TEJERA, Spain, SOC ; Ms Sahiba GAFAROVA, Azerbaijan, EDG ; Ms Maria GIANNAKAKI, Greece, NR ; Mr Jonas GUNNARSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Ms Carina HÄGG, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Mike HANCOCK, United Kingdom, ALDE ; Ms Nermina KAPETANOVIĆ, Bosnia and Herzegovina, EPP/CD ; Mr Haluk KOÇ, Turkey, SOC ; Ms Stella KYRIAKIDES, Cyprus, EPP/CD ; Ms Athina KYRIAKIDOU, Cyprus, SOC ; Ms Kerstin LUNDGREN, Sweden, ALDE ; Sir Alan MEALE, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Carina OHLSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr John PRESCOTT, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Fatiha SAÏDI, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Deborah SCHEMBRI, Malta, SOC ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Ms Gisela WURM, Austria, SOC

On 26 September, World Contraception Day, we reaffirm that women’s access to modern contraceptive choice is a crucial component of health, gender equality, employment and education.   

Only a few national governments in Europe, among them Germany, Netherlands, France, have targeted reproductive health and rights strategies or public campaigns with information on contraceptives. Meanwhile in five European countries – Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Serbia - the usage rate of modern contraceptives is below 22%, representing the average for the least developed countries in the world.

International human rights law requires States to provide women with access to a full range of sexual and reproductive health services, including making affordable contraceptive methods available and providing appropriate information on them.

We urge:

  • Governments to adopt policies that will ensure access to all modern contraceptive methods for people of all socioeconomic classes and age groups, and to include age-appropriate sexuality education as a mandatory element of their school curriculum.
  • The Committee of Ministers to address the inequalities in access to modern contraception in Council of Europe member States and bring this debate to the fore