Emergency contraception - a human rights issue

Horacio B. Croxatto, Soledad Díaz Fernández

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Emergency contraception is the only resource that women can use to avoid becoming pregnant after having sexual intercourse without contraceptive protection. It could be a powerful means to prevent unwanted pregnancies and their devastating consequences for women's health, social wellbeing and life project, and for the unwanted child, if all people had ample access to good quality information, education and services for sexual and reproductive health. In spite of the preventive medicine value of emergency contraception, conservative sectors oppose its availability, appealing to moral values that are not universally shared in pluralistic societies. Excluding the only contraceptive that can be used after intercourse because some consider the mechanism of action to be unacceptable would mean restricting the right of choice of others, and imposing one particular belief or set of values on all members of the community, thus violating the freedom of conscience. Authorities have a moral obligation to protect human rights.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-322
Number of pages12
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • bioethics principles
  • emergency contraception
  • human rights
  • levonorgestrel
  • postcoital pill
  • unwanted pregnancy
  • women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Emergency contraception - a human rights issue'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this