HUMAN RIGHTS TALK “Women’s reproductive rights and the human right to life – a contradiction?”


Thursday, 18 April 2024, 7:00 p.m.


Vienna School of International Studies, Favoritenstraße 15a, 1040 Vienna

A top-class panel will discuss reproductive rights.

Sexual-reproductive rights are not yet a matter of course, even in Western democracies. In many places, couples and individuals are denied the right to decide freely on the number of children they have and the timing of pregnancies. Often, access to the highest possible standard of sexual and reproductive health is not guaranteed. In particular, the issue of abortion divides societies and lacks clear international legal clarification. While the right to abortion has recently been massively restricted in the USA and Poland, France elevated the freedom to abort to constitutional status at the beginning of March 2024. In Austria, too, issues relating to the regulation of sexuality and reproduction have repeatedly become the focus of political and legal debate – most recently, for example, through the demand for free contraceptives and the debates surrounding the first-trimester abortion as well as the lack of access to safe abortions in parts of the country. What function does the law have in these intimate yet controversial issues? Do women’s reproductive rights and self-determination interfere with the human right to life of the unborn child? Top-class experts discuss a potentially insoluble human rights conflict.

Welcome Notes

  • Ursula Kriebaum, University Professor of International Law, University of Vienna


  • Inga Winkler, ao. University Professor for International Human Rights Law, Central European University

Panel Discussion

  • Peter Kampits, Second Deputy Chairman, Bioethics Commission at the Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria
  • Barbara Maier, Chair of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Sigmund Freud Private University Vienna; President, Austrian Society for Family Planning
  • Inga Winkler, ao. University Professor for International Human Rights Law, Central European University
  • Shoura Zehetner-Hashemi, Managing Director, Amnesty International Austria


  • Eva Stanzl, Science Editor, Wiener Zeitung; Chairwoman, Club of Austrian Education and Science Journalists

Further information can be found in the download area. Participation is free of charge, but please register for the event at by Wednesday, 17 April 2024, 12:00 pm.

There will be written interpreting at the event. Under this link you can read the spoken word on your own device.