Reproductive Rights as Human Rights: An Interactive Course for Legal Advocates

Welcome to the e-learning course, Reproductive Rights for Human Rights: An Interactive Course for Legal Advocates!

The Center for Reproductive Rights developed this course for lawyers and legal advocates who are interested in using human rights jurisprudence and comparative law to advance reproductive rights within national, regional and global arenas.

The course will introduce participants to international and regional human rights bodies. It then delves into a number of specific reproductive rights topics, including abortion, contraception, involuntary sterilization, adolescent reproductive rights, and maternal health, providing an overview of the topic itself then diving into key jurisprudence. Each module showcases notable entry points where lawyers and legal advocates can leverage human rights norms and comparative law to advance reproductive rights.

The modules are all on-demand videos, so participants can complete the videos and accompanying quizzes on their own schedule. Although we suggest watching both videos in each module together, they do not need to be viewed all at once.

Course Logistics

This course is divided into modules featuring key reproductive rights topics, with each module generally containing two subsections: a video introducing the topic, and a video describing key jurisprudence on this topic. After each video, there is a quiz to help you review and retain the information presented in the video, as well as a list of links to additional resources.

With the exception of the first module, the modules were designed as “stand-alone” videos, so you can watch the modules in any sequence. We recommend that you begin with Module 1: Introduction to Human Rights, as the content forms the foundation for the main module topics. After the first module, please feel free to access the thematic modules in any order that makes sense for  your own interests and areas of focus.

We encourage you to complete each post-video quiz immediately after watching each video. If you have questions or comments, email us at or click on the “Help” button and complete the form.

Course Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the international and regional human rights mechanisms and bodies recognizing reproductive rights as human rights and how advocates can use these mechanisms;
  • Demonstrate how international and regional norms can influence one another and advance reproductive rights at the national level;
  • Recognize the specific human rights that ground reproductive rights, including the rights to life, health, equality and nondiscrimination, and freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment; and
  • Describe specific issues within sexual and reproductive health and rights, such as abortion, maternal health, contraception, and involuntary sterilization and provide an overview of global jurisprudence on each issue.