What are reproductive rights and how far are they available practically to women in India?
Reproductive rights are legal rights and freedoms relating to reproduction. Reproductive rights may include some or all of the following:
a. the right to legal and safe abortion
b. the right to birth control
c. freedom from coerced sterilization and contraception
d. the right to access good-quality reproductive healthcare
e. the right to education and access in order to make free and informed reproductive choices
Reproductive rights may also include the right to receive education about sexually transmitted infections.
Women in India enjoy these rights but practically the limitations are due to lack of literacy; absence of institutional facilities; socially inferior status, for example, the tragedies from women-centered sterilisations as seen in Bilaspur in 2015. The draft surrogacy Bill 2016 , while it enhances the reproductive health of the surrogate mother, is is also criticised for denying women their reproductive choices. 26 weeks maternity leave granted by Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill 2016 is another example of women's reproductive rights being granted.