Sexual and reproductive health and rights during the covid-19 pandemic in Poland, the UK, and the Netherlands

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Baiker, Manuela
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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unforeseen challenges to human rights as states attempt to curb the spread of the virus. In light of the disproportionate consequences of the pandemic on women, this thesis examines the impact of COVID-19 on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Poland, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. Through an analysis of human rights obligations, this thesis questions the extent to which states may use restrictions and derogations to respond to the crisis. By comparing legal and regulatory changes affecting SRHR during the pandemic in three case studies, positive and negative developments are identified and commented upon from a human rights perspective. Through the case studies, this thesis highlights that COVID-19 represented a window of opportunity for both welcome progress and unlawful regress in the area of SRHR. Finally, it argues that a fair and just answer to the difficult balancing question between public health and human rights can only be found if human rights are placed at the center of response efforts. Thus, this thesis suggests and explores the application of a feminist human rights-based approach to public health emergencies. Key words: COVID-19, sexual and reproductive rights, public health, derogations, abortion, telemedicine.
Second semester University: Uppsala University
COVID-19 pandemic, reproductive rights, abortion, public health, Poland, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, right to health, human rights, international obligations