ACCESS TO INFORMATION ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH FROM A HUMAN RIGHTS PERSPECTIVE
The right to access to information is one of the elements of Human rights system in democratic society. Being mentioned in the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights, this right has become universally recognized. Thus, Article 19 states, “ Everyone has the right … to receive and impart information and ideas …” (Un.org, n.d.). The access to information is particularly applicable to the sphere of healthcare, with the emphasis on sexuality and reproduction. (Access to information on reproductive health from a human rights perspective, 2011).
Access to information on Reproductive Health has become considerable issue: women cannot enjoy their human rights if the access to information on healthcare services and education is denied, which, in turn, may result in wrong decision-making concerning reproduction and family planning.On regional level, in Article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights the concept of access to information have become a right after it was so decided by Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
The American Convention provides the right to freedom of thought and expression, including freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds (Martin, Rodríguez Pinzón and Brown, n.d.). Thus, it has been established by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the IACHR) that American Convention includes a positive obligation by the state to provide its nationals with the right to free flow of ideas and information and access to information (Access to information on reproductive health from a human rights perspective, 2011).The connection between the right to health and the right to access to information has been recognized and highlighted by many international organizations, including the UN system.
The World Health Organization includes in its constitution that Health Information System[s] is one of the six essential blocks, which establish a comprehensive health system (Article 19: A Healthy Knowledge. Right to Information and the Right to Health, 2012). Concerning reproductive health issues, the access to information is considerable for patients, because they are informed not only about the issues they have or may have in the future, but also about the nature of the procedures, available treatment, reasonable alternatives and the assessment of benefits and risks of such procedures. Having understood the information on particular issue, they thus are able to give free and voluntary consent to begin treatment (Martin, Rodríguez Pinzón and Brown, n.d.).Additionally, free access to information on reproductive health among public educates youngsters foe example on potential harm caused by early pregnancy and, if necessary, on health services available for such women. Such measures are to help people learn of their rights to health and health care system.
Being one of the fundamental human rights and freedoms, the right to free access information is closely related to the right to health and is crucial in several aspects. First, the right to access information allows people to receive appropriate general education to raise awareness on the right to health itself and that they can and should exercise it.
Secondly, it …