24/01/2023 Equality and Non-Discrimination
The Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination considers that access to sexual and reproductive healthcare must be granted to all without discrimination, adding that insufficient access to such care affects women first and foremost, resulting in unwanted pregnancies or health risks when abortion is denied.
The committee believes that legislators and policy makers should give high priority to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). In this respect, the report by Petra Stienen (Netherlands, ALDE), adopted by the committee, stresses that progress in this area is made possible by advances and innovations in technology and design, social sciences, information technology, and medicine – with healthcare provided remotely and through digital means.
The committee encouraged States to promote scientific research in areas related to sexuality and reproduction, including contraception, in order to make available innovative contraceptive methods, including for men.
Furthermore, according to the committee, laws and public policies on SRHR should be inspired by a positive vision of sexuality and aim to promote self-determination and bodily autonomy for everyone (this applies in particular to the determination of one's gender identity). Measures must be taken to combat reproductive coercion, intended as interference with a person’s autonomous decision-making with regards to reproductive health.
Finally, the committee called on States to make sexuality education mandatory and part of school curricula at all levels and advocated making detailed information on SRHR available to the general public through online platforms managed by public health authorities.