//The Human Right to Family Planning
The Human Right to Family Planning 2017-11-12T14:02:56+00:00

The Human Right to Family Planning (HR2FP) Initiative

About Uplift International

Uplift International’s Human Right to Family Planning (HR2FP) Initiative advocates for access to family planning as a human right.

Millions of women and girls around the world, including in the U.S., are harmed when they cannot access safe and affordable reproductive health services. Family planning services go beyond access to contraception and include access to abortion information and services.   Progress has been made in many parts of the world, but there is so much more that must be done to protect the health and rights of women and girls.

  • 56 million induced (safe and unsafe) abortions occur worldwide each year, according to the latest data.[1]
  • 25 million unsafe abortions were estimated to have taken place worldwide each year, almost all in developing countries.[2]
  • Each year between 4.7% – 13.2% of maternal deaths can be attributed to unsafe abortion.[3]
  • Restrictive laws are associated with significantly more unsafe abortions.[4]
  • Almost every abortion death and disability could be prevented.
  • Access to contraception is key to reducing death and disability and there are 214 million women of reproductive age in developing countries with unmet needs.[5]
  • Some communities in the U.S. are starting to look like developing countries, in terms of access to affordable and comprehensive family planning services.

It is not only an unfortunate situation when women and girls cannot access reproductive health services that only they need; simply put, it is discrimination.

Globally, women do not have the freedom or opportunity to choose if and when to be pregnant.   These challenges are greatest for the most impoverished and socially disadvantaged women in countries, rich and poor, all over the world.

Inadequate access to scientifically accurate information, quality reproductive health services and reliable contraceptive supplies can adversely affect a woman’s health, well-being and her ability to be a productive member of society.  We approach this ‘inadequate access’ as discrimination against women and girls.  It is not just a health issue.  It is a matter of human rights.

Uplift International’s team of experts improve women’s health and rights.

  • We educate professionals and the public about the human right to family planning, including health aspects and legal underpinnings.
  • We engage collaboratively with other organizations to fill gaps in expertise so programs become more effective in supporting women’s health and rights.
  • We develop innovative program approaches about women’s reproductive health in the U.S. and globally that will shift the current public discourse.
  • We facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue to improve communication among different professional sectors and advance policy development in support of women’s and girls’ health and rights.

The HR2FP Initiative Story

In 2015, the first U.S. conference on the Human Right to Family Planning took place at the University of Washington in collaboration with civil society actors. It explored the relationship between the right to health and family planning and its application to improving universal access– globally and locally.  The event brought together academicians, practitioners, and students in public/global health, medicine and law, NGOs, donor institutions, international organizations, pharmaceutical and biotech companies and others from the Global North and South.

The conference provided an opportunity for professionals from different disciplines and professional practice backgrounds to exchange ideas and lessons-learned; discuss future, collaborative research; and begin to develop advocacy efforts that must take place globally—including in the U.S.—for women’s rights to be respected, protected and fulfilled.

There was overwhelming enthusiasm at the conference for continued collaboration among the various stakeholders and the HR2FP Initiative was launched.  Uplift International welcomes the HR2FP Initiative, which has evolved naturally from the collaboration that began at the 2015 HR2FP conference.

Learn more about the conference here.

The ‘Human Right to Family Planning (HR2FP)’ Community of Practice is an interdisciplinary community of global and public health practitioners, lawyers, clinicians, NGOs, international organizations, donors and others who collectively discuss issues regarding sexual and reproductive health and rights, including abortion. Discussions will focus primarily on girls and women accessing scientifically-based information and the full range of reproductive health services, as part of the broader reproductive justice dialogue. Our community is a forum where professionals & practitioners share their ideas, events, publications, and much more.

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[1] Ganatra B, Gerdts C, Rossier C, Johnson Jr B R, Tuncalp Ö, Assifi A, Sedgh G, Singh S, Bankole A, Popinchalk A, Bearak J, Kang Z, Alkema L. Global, regional, and subregional classification of abortions by safety, 2010–14: estimates from a Bayesian hierarchical model. The Lancet, 2017 Sep; Volume 388 , Issue 10041 , 258 – 267.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Say L, Chou D, Gemmill A, Tunçalp Ö, Moller AB, Daniels J, Gülmezoglu AM, Temmerman M, Alkema L. Global causes of maternal death: a WHO systematic analysis. Lancet Glob Health. 2014 Jun; 2(6):e323-33.

[4] Ganatra B, Gerdts C, Rossier C, Johnson Jr B R, Tuncalp Ö, Assifi A, Sedgh G, Singh S, Bankole A, Popinchalk A, Bearak J, Kang Z, Alkema L. Global, regional, and subregional classification of abortions by safety, 2010–14: estimates from a Bayesian hierarchical model. The Lancet , 2017 Sep; Volume 388 , Issue 10041 , 258 – 267.

[5] WHO, Family planning/Contraception Fact Sheet, Updated July 2017, Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs351/en/.

Every woman and girl has the right to decide if and when to be pregnant, no matter where she lives.