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New report brings human rights perspectives to LARC service provision in the UK

Post written by Margaret Gaw, Stanback Fellow with FHI 360

A new report by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), researchers at Lancaster University, Decolonising Contraception, and Shine Aloud UK examines barriers and challenges to reproductive rights and centers the experiences of those who are most marginalized and vulnerable to obstacles in receiving long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) methods. These methods, including the implant, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and contraceptive injection (depo), are growing in demand in the UK given their effectiveness, duration, and other benefits. However, some marginalized groups have expressed concern that LARC methods may be disproportionately targeted at their communities, making human rights approaches essential. The report concludes that in order to protect the rights of LARC users, cost-saving measures must uphold user autonomy and contraceptive services must prioritize access, informed decision-making, and non-discrimination.

The initial recommendations from the report are as follows:

  • Legitimacy — working to ensure modes of LAC provision always have a ‘legitimate’ (non-discriminatory) aim and outcome, e.g. welfare. This also includes working to directly tackle stereotypes related to race, sex, gender, age, and other characteristics of LARC users.

  • Accessibility — equitable access including for removal of LARC methods. This includes consideration of who is included and excluded by a LARC service or initiative.

  • Resources — to permit time, safe space, conversation, and information sharing to support fully informed consent.

  • Challenge — challenging assumptions and norms about LARC. A recognition that there is no universal ‘one size fits all’ in relation to LARC and wider SRH services.”

Read the full report here.

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