Zlata Licer

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    Social counselling in the field of the rights to family planning and to termination of pregnancy

    Zlata Licer, Lili Dreu University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Division of Gynaecology, Ljubljana, Slovenia - zlata.licer@kclj.si

    The right to family planning and to artificial termination of pregnancy is a basic human right. Social counselling on an individual basis should enable people to choose freely to have children and to have access to social rights during periods of distress. Expert assistance in decision-making is necessary in different stages of life, especially among vulnerable groups of women, which consist mainly of a) adolescents, b) women with a pregnancy over 10 weeks and c) women over 35 years of age. Counsellors must treat their sexual and reproductive health as their basic human right and take into account all their needs. For example, adolescents must have a right to comprehensive sex education, education for equal gender relations and youth-friendly and accessible reproductive healthcare. Women with a pregnancy over 10 weeks are usually in a difficult social situation while older women tend to feel more emotionally vulnerable. In the field of artificial termination of pregnancy counsellors need to be especially attentive to provide their clients with all the relevant information which enables the clients to make autonomous decisions in relation to their reproductive health.