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Petchesky, Rosalind P. “Human Rights, Reproductive Health and Economic Justice: Why They Are Indivisible.” Reproductive Health Matters 8, no. 15 (January 2000): 12–17.


This article argues that human rights, reproductive health, and economic justice are indivisibly intertwined. Relying on health data and utilizing specific examples from India, the author makes a strong case that access to health care and power to act autonomously are essential components of reproductive freedom. Citing focus group work from high-density urban slums, the author highlights how lack of sanitation and clean water fuel STI among impoverished women in India. Trade and restrictions on manufacturing prescription drugs are offered as another example of how economics shape access to health care and, consequently, health. While major advancements in recognizing these connections have happened at global conferences and among multilateral organizations, the author calls for greater activism and organizing in communities to help realize the human and reproductive rights. Succinctly making the argument that health and wealth are inextricably connected at the global level, this article is a good resource for students and activists working in international health. The author links human rights to social justice and reproductive health, taking the discussion out of the U.S. paradigm and applying it to international trade and development. An essential read for someone puzzling over how a human rights approach connects to having and raising a child.


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Human rights   Health disparities