Closing the Gaps in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Globally

Cynthia Summers
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Abstract / Summary

Dr. Cynthia Summers is Chair of the Advisory Group to the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Chief Operating Officer at the Guttmacher Institute.


Not everyone has access to sexual and reproductive health services. In a pioneering report, a Commission of health and human rights experts outline why this is an issue — and how it can be solved. In order to advance people's health, it's imperative to advance their rights. For too long, however, many policymakers have taken such a narrow view of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) that it has typically excluded rights completely.

That is the stark message of a ground-breaking report published in May from the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, a collaboration of global health, development and human rights experts from around the world. It stresses that, while all individuals should have the right to make decisions about their bodies and lives, free of stigma, discrimination and coercion, not everyone does.  The result is drastic personal and economic costs...

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