Revise the Timor-Leste Family Planning Policy

Revise the Timor-Leste Family Planning Policy

Our neighbour Timor-Leste has come a long way in the few short years since becoming an independent nation. But we are concerned that they are going backwards in one important area.

A new draft Family Planning Policy introduced on 12 July proposes that only married couples will be able to access family planning and that health workers will only promote the Billings Method of contraception. 

We are worried that this policy will prevent unmarried women and girls getting the health education and services they need and will lead to an increase in unplanned pregnancy.

We stand with our sisters and ...

Our neighbour Timor-Leste has come a long way in the few short years since becoming an independent nation. But we are concerned that they are going backwards in one important area.

A new draft Family Planning Policy introduced on 12 July proposes that only married couples will be able to access family planning and that health workers will only promote the Billings Method of contraception. 

We are worried that this policy will prevent unmarried women and girls getting the health education and services they need and will lead to an increase in unplanned pregnancy.

We stand with our sisters and brothers in Timor-Leste who are calling on their Government to revise the draft policy.

This petition is based on language developed by Grupu Feminista iha Timor.

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Petiton

We stand with our Timorese sisters and brother in expressing concern that the content of this new draft policy will negatively impact and harm the rights of all people in Timor-Leste, especially youth, unmarried people, and women living in rural areas.

Dear Prime Minister of Timor-Leste,

We, the undersigned, believe that:
1. Everyone has the right to access family planning, regardless of their age or civil status.
2. Everyone has the right to freely choose any method of family planning.
3. Everyone has the right to freely decide whether or not to have children, the timing and spacing of having children, and how many children to have.
4. Timor-Leste’s Constitution, national laws, and international conventions signed by Timor-Leste, ensure these rights.
The draft Family Planning Policy that the Ministry of Health recently presented will violate the Timorese constitution, national laws and policies, and international agreements that Timor-Leste has already agreed to follow.
We request that the process of approving this draft Family Planning Policy cannot be rushed. Rather, we ask that the Ministry of Health conducts further and broader consultations on this matter, to include the perspectives of all stakeholders, including civil society organisations working in this area.
We hope that the Prime Minister considers our petition objectively and with good intention.