Barometer of Women’s Access to Modern Contraceptive Choice in 16 EU Countries
“Having access to safe and modern contraception is the cornerstone of women’s and adolescent girls’ rights and of their sexual and reproductive health. With proper knowledge, information, access and government support, women and girls have the freedom to decide about their own bodies, lives and futures. Sexual and reproductive health and rights(SRHR) are fundamental rights, which the European Union and its Member States must promote and protect in their internal and external policies. This Barometer shows that, unfortunately, the EU has a long way to go to make these rights reality for all its citizens. It highlights some truly alarming gaps and unfinished business in making modern contraception accessible to all. The report is a real eye-opener for anyone who believed that this battle had been largely won by previous generations. The findings of the report are even more concerning given the strong conservative wind that is currently blowing through many EU countries and the EU institutions, opposing progress and challenging the imperfect but hard-won battles on SRHR. The EU must play as strong a role as possible in defending and strengthening the fundamental rights of women and girls. Family planning is a pre-condition for their freedom and independence. Without it, none of the gender equality targets can be met. So the EU should no longer turn a blind eye and pretend it is a purely national matter. It affects society as a whole.