Region: US and Canada

Access to safe abortion and contraception: Vital for young women globally, a priority for U.S. foreign assistance

The United States, as the world’s foreign assistance leader, must play a key role in safeguarding a comprehensive and integrated approach to sexual and reproductive health and rights for young women. This fact sheet outlines policy challenges that deny young women their sexual and reproductive rights and puts forth policy actions the U.S. government should take: expand family planning funding, repeal the damaging Helms Amendment, permanently repeal the Mexico City Policy (also called the Global Gag Rule), and continue to work toward a progressive sexual and reproductive health agenda in platforms like the International Conference on Population and Development and the United Nations.

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Confronting abortion stigma

Every day of every week several state legislatures are hard at work creating more and more restrictions to punish both women in need of abortion and the medical professionals providing safe abortion care. What do all of these actions across the country share? They’re all rooted in abortion stigma.

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What Komen v. Planned Parenthood teaches us about abortion stigma

Two major women’s health organizations, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood, battled for women’s respect and donations. Two days later the dust is settling and we’re left to wonder what we should take away from the tangle? Was it about fundraising? Women’s health? Politics? I suggest it is about stigma, specifically abortion stigma that has been deliberately attached to a beloved national institution and household name, Planned Parenthood.

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Denying women their rights, criminalizing doctors

At a time when the pool of abortion providers is shrinking and abortion clinics are closing, medical abortion can truly increase women’s access, particularly to those in underserved areas. For legislators who want to end access to abortion under any circumstances, medical abortion is an obvious target.

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Abortion, the states and the World Health Organization

The new WHO recommendations make it painfully clear that, nearly 40 years after Roe v. Wade, we’re doing everything wrong here. Whether it’s gestational limits, ultrasounds, counseling or human rights, nearly every policy proposed by anti-abortion legislators directly contradicts the new WHO guidelines, which are based on years of consultation and discussion, incorporating scientific evidence and international human rights standards.

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Combating abortion stigma requires more than just storytelling

Certainly, sharing abortion stories can be a powerful act and may reduce self-stigma. But I fear that it distracts from the structural inequalities of race, poverty, age, and education by placing too much emphasis on the individual. And I worry that it lets our politicians and policymakers off the hook.

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Bad all around: Attacks on women in NC

Taken together, the [NC] state Republican attacks on unemployment benefits, Medicaid, education, women’s rights and racial justice amount to what the rest of the world considers human rights violations.

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