The Immorality of Morality-Based Sexual Health Care: Populist Morality and Universal Health Coverage in Indonesia

Sharyn Davies

School of Social Sciences at AUT , , New Zealand

In 2014, Indonesia introduced a Universal Health Care system, the largest such scheme in the world. A key question is how Indonesia ensures people can access sexual and reproductive health care. This question is critically important given Indonesia is on the verge of passing a law criminalising all sex outside of marriage. If passed, anyone presenting with sexually transmitted infections (STI) will be suspected of involvement in criminal activity (e.g. them or their partner having sex outside of marriage). In this environment, preventing transmission of HIV and STIs becomes increasingly difficult. In exploring these issues, I argue Indonesia must give significant attention to how Universal Health Coverage can prevent the transmission of HIV and STIs. More precisely, I argue that Indonesia’s populist morality movement is making it difficult to address sexual and reproductive health care through Universal Health Coverage, and that in fact morality-based health care provision is immoral.


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