Persons with Disabilities and their Sexual, Reproductive, and Parenting Rights: An International and Comparative Analysis
- Author: Robyn M. Powell & Michael Ashley Stein
- Published: 01 May 2016
- Languages: English
Law review article examining the sexual, reproductive, and parenting rights of persons with disabilities.
Despite important gains in human rights, persons with disabilities — and in particular women and girls with disabilities — continue to experience significant inequalities in the areas of sexual, reproductive, and parenting rights. Persons with disabilities are sterilized at alarming rates; have decreased access to reproductive health care services and information; and experience denial of parenthood. Precipitating these inequities are substantial and instantiated stereotypes of persons with disabilities as either asexual or unable to engage in sexual or reproductive activities, and as incapable of performing parental duties. The article begins with an overview of sexual, reproductive, and parenting rights regarding persons with disabilities. Because most formal adjudications of these related rights have centered on the issue of sterilization, the article analyzes commonly presented rationales used to justify these procedures over time and across jurisdictions. Next, the article examines the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the attendant obligations of States Parties regarding rights to personal integrity, access to reproductive health care services and information, parenting, and the exercise of legal capacity. Finally, the article highlights fundamental and complex issues requiring future research and consideration.