Inequality and Discrimination in Maternal Health in Europe


Primary Content

The Center for Reproductive Rights works to address the entrenched discrimination and inequalities faced by marginalized groups with regard to their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

We have documented how Roma women experience systemic and persistent discrimination and grave violations of their sexual and reproductive rights, including ethnic segregation and racial harassment and abuse in health care settings including maternal health care facilities. We are also working to ensure that as survivors of historical practices of forced and coercive sterilization, Roma women obtain access to justice and adequate reparations, including compensation.

In some European Union countries, undocumented migrant women encounter legal and policy barriers resulting in inadequate access to affordable maternal health care. When pregnant women are unable to access affordable good quality antenatal care and skilled care during childbirth, public health evidence shows that they face increased risks of poor maternal health outcomes, obstetric emergency and pregnancy-related complications during childbirth. We are calling on policy makers to ensure that laws and policies protect undocumented women’s health and lives and comply with international human rights law and standards.