WASHINGTON — Today, on Human Rights Day, Feminist Majority Foundation calls on global leaders to uphold universal access to family planning services as a fundamental human right.

The United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, established in 1948, states in Article 25 that every person has the right to medical care for both themselves and their families. A vital component of women’s healthcare is access to contraceptives and full reproductive healthcare, including abortion — but this fundamental human right is being denied to millions of women, both in the U.S. and abroad.

At least 222 million women in developing countries would like to delay or stop childbearing but are not able to access contraceptives. And in the U.S., we are continuously fighting outrageous attacks on our access to abortion and birth control at the federal, state and now municipal levels.

“Access to family planning reduces both maternal mortality and illness, as well as infant mortality and illness,” said Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority Foundation president. “Moreover, painful conditions such as ovarian cysts and endometriosis can be treated by family planning services. To deny such access is both cruel and harmful to millions of women.”

Feminist Majority Foundation has recently launched two actions to improve national and global access to reproductive healthcare services, including family planning:

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