Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Report: Argentina poor in meeting women’s healh needs

Argentine women are suffering due to a lack of enforcement of health care laws and policies, concluded a report published by Human Rights Watch today.

According to the study, there have been problems with the distribution of contraceptives to women including “being given expired contraceptives in public health centers, or were given one form of birth control at one visit, and then another at the next.” The study further noted an instance when a judge allegedly told a rape victim that she “must not have been very traumatized” from being violated due to the way she dressed.

The report also focused on abortions, which are legal in Argentina only in exceptional cases like if the mother’s life is in danger. Yet the human rights group said that doctors tend to delay or even reject performing legal abortions and ties forces some women to seek illegal and high-risk abortions. Hence, the report claimed that the lack of proper access to contraception is why nearly 40% of Argentine pregnancies end in abortion.

One of the most vulnerable groups at risk are women with disabilities despite Argentina recently ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:
"Women and girls with disabilities face all the same barriers as women without disabilities, and then some," (Americas director Jose Miguel) Vivanco said. "Apart from straight-up access issues - are there ramps at clinics, or is information translated into Braille or sign language, for example - there is a larger question of prejudice. Some doctors just don't think women with visual or hearing disabilities, have sexual relationships or can remember to take their contraception."
Image- EFE
Online Sources- Human Rights Watch, MSNBC, BBC Mundo, The Guardian

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