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Ensuring Access To Health Care Is ‘Core Component’ Of Women’s Human Rights

“A core component of women’s rights is ensuring that all women — regardless of religion, nationality, or income level — have access to quality health care,” Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) writes in the Huffington Post’s “Women” blog. “Recognizing the key link between health care for mothers and the impact on the social and economic fabric of countries, the United Nations included within the Millennium Development Goals the desire to reduce by 75 percent by 2015 the mortality rate for mothers from what it was in 1990 and to achieve by 2015 universal access to reproductive health for all the world’s women,” she notes. “We have made giant strides since 2000, but we still have important and necessary work to do,” she adds.

“As the Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Africa, I have the unique opportunity to address issues facing African women, and we need to face the hard facts about the health of mothers in sub-Saharan Africa,” Bass writes, adding, “To decrease the number of women dying in Africa we must increase both access to contraception and to health care providers.” She continues, “For me, ensuring that women have the ability to plan their families and their lives is a basic and fundamental human right. … Moving forward the international community must continue to focus on expanding access to family planning and work to ensure that no matter where a woman gives birth they can safely welcome their child into the world” (12/6).