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date: 01 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the right not to procreate as a cornerstone of reproductive freedom in international human rights law. It shows that, despite the wide disagreement and divergence in approaches among European nations as well as among US states, the same principles guide legal, political, and moral debates over the right not to procreate and of the regulation of pregnant women. Interests in autonomy, equality, family formation, family life, privacy, medical ethics, health, and fetal life cut across jurisdictions, although their impact varies to greater and lesser degrees. These interests are reflected in the contours of the right not to procreate under the international human rights regime. This emerged out of two very different United Nations conferences focusing on population control (the UN International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994) and women’s rights (the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995), respectively.

Keywords: right not to procreate, pregnancy, reproductive freedom, reproduction, international human rights, population control, women’s rights, abortion

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