Reproductive Autonomy of Women and Girls Under the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities

International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics (Jan, 2018);140(1):128-133

14 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2018  

Charles Ngwena

Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

Women and girls with disabilities have historically been denied the freedom to make their own choices in matters relating to their reproduction. In the healthcare sector, they experience multiple discriminatory practices. Women and girls with intellectual disabilities are particularly vulnerable to coerced or forced medical interventions. The present article considers the contribution the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities makes towards affirming the rights of women and girls with disabilities to enjoy reproductive autonomy, including autonomy related to reproductive health, on an equal basis with individuals without disabilities. The Convention is paradigm-setting in its maximal approach to affirming the rights of individuals with disabilities to make autonomous choices under conditions of equality and non-discrimination. The Convention is the first human rights treaty to clearly affirm that impairment of decision-making skills is not a justification for depriving a person with cognitive or intellectual disability of legal capacity.

Keywords: Abortion, Disability, Equality, Legal Capacity, Non-Discrimination, Reasonable Accommodation, Reproductive Autonomy, Reproductive Health

JEL Classification: K10, J13, I18, I10, J14

Suggested Citation

Ngwena, Charles, Reproductive Autonomy of Women and Girls Under the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (2017). International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics (Jan, 2018);140(1):128-133. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3152396

Charles Ngwena (Contact Author)

Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria ( email )

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Hatfield 0028
Pretoria
South Africa

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