H 1 Addressing medical professionals’ refusals to provide abortion care on grounds of conscience or religion: European Human Rights Jurisprudence on state obligations to guarantee women’s access to legal reproductive health care.
Failures on the part of European governments to ensure that medical professionals’ refusals of care do not impede women’s access to legal reproductive health care contravene international human rights law and standards. When states do not ensure that such refusals of care do not jeopardize women’s access to legal services, they fail to discharge their international obligations to guarantee women’s access to legal reproductive health care.
The purpose of this fact sheet is to clarify and summarize these obligations and to present an overview of European human rights jurisprudence on this subject:
• Section I synthesizes the measures required of state authorities under international human rights law.
• Sections II and III summarize the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights and the European Committee of Social Rights on this issue, presenting case studies of six key decisions.