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date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the right to avoid procreation and the regulation of pregnancy from a European perspective. The legal basis for a right to avoid procreation can be said to fall within the scope of several provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), an instrument that is binding for all European countries. Here, Article 12 of the ECHR gives men and women of marriageable age the right to marry and found a family in accordance with the national laws governing this right. However, Article 12 protects some elements of the right not to procreate, but for couples only. The lack of common European consensus in this area highlights how matters relating to the right to decide on the number and spacing of children touch on aspects that differ from country to country even in what could appear to be a homogenous region. In fact, the cultural, moral, and historical milieus that surround these rights differ considerably with diverse national perceptions of the role of the family, gender equality, religious and moral obligations, and so on.

Keywords: right not to procreate, abortion, pregnancy, reproduction, ECHR, Europe

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