While significant progress has been made towards greater protection for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and gender equality in Europe, recently the backlash against gender equality and SRHR has been intensifying. The Center for Reproductive Rights works in support of civil society across the region to counter repeated efforts to introduce regressive restrictions on access to essential SRHR services and to prevent adoption of progressive legal protections against violence against women. We also bring threats of regression to the attention of regional and international human rights or political bodies. In 2019 we presented at a hearing of the European Parliament on backlash against women’s rights and gender equality.
In October 2020, a series of regressive legislative proposals to restrict abortion access in Slovakia were rejected. In October 2020, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal issued a regressive ruling, which if given legal effect, will amount to a near-total ban on abortion. We work closely with civil society and human rights defenders in these countries where sexual and reproductive rights are repeatedly under threat.