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Reproductive Rights in Venezuela: Living Without Legal Protection

Updated: 2 days ago

Reproductive Rights in Venezuela

Venezuela is going through a complex humanitarian emergency due to the intersection of various social, political and economic crises. This situation results in an institutional weakening that undermines the capacity to provide services, to protect and guarantee human rights, and this includes everything related to sexual and reproductive health.

In this sense, sexual and reproductive rights are not grouped in a law that regulates them and indicates mechanisms of care, creating a due legal protection. There is only a standard of care that establishes the guidelines, competencies, functions of the administrative levels and procedures for comprehensive care in this area. In this way, a state is generated where there are no guarantees for the exercise of rights.

This lack of protection is serious and generates important consequences, among those pointed out by Asociación Venezolana para una Educación Sexual Alternativa (AVESA) when it indicated according to a study conducted in three hospital institutions in the month of August 2018, that in Venezuela an average of 10 to 11 abortions took place daily.

Machismo from the State

On the other hand, the social context of Venezuela has a marked patriarchal and machista character, where violence against women, adolescents and girls is not only manifested as socially accepted practices, but is also generated by the State itself.

For example, the State has validated through comments in which it is pointed out that women can be "property" and that having a loving bond with a woman allows you to be "owner" of her, as it has been done by officials who hold high positions by stating "the only property I have is Cilia".

High Teenage Pregnancy Rate

In addition, Venezuela is a state whose teenage pregnancy rate is almost 98 out of every 1000 young women. This has been identified by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) as a problem that addresses the shortage of contraceptives, the lack of education on sexual and reproductive health issues, the wage gap and the increase in violence against women, adolescents and girls as elements that are part of the challenges faced by Venezuelan women. In addition to this context, Venezuela is one of the States where abortion is legally penalized, unless the pregnancy threatens the life of the woman, which implies a direct restriction on the right of individuals to exercise their sexual and reproductive autonomy.

Reproductive rights in Venezuela without Legal Protection

These violent acts are a reflection of state policy and demonstrate the lack of due legal protection, which causes a state of uncertainty and lack of protection for women, adolescents and girls who need access to sexual and reproductive rights.

Therefore, the fact that there are no laws protecting sexual and reproductive rights is one of the barriers that women, adolescents and girls face today in accessing their rights in Venezuela. Therefore, it is important to generate spaces for discussion to address the immediate need for timely access to sexual and reproductive rights, both from the autonomy and individuality that corresponds to each person as women, non-binary people, adolescents and girls as well as from the exercise of collective demand.

For you, what is another consequence of the lack of regulation of sexual and reproductive rights?

Go to our Forum (Spanish) - a safe space to share your thoughts on reproductive rights in Venezuela.



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