This collection examines issues related to reproductive health, including the legality of reproductive services (reproductive rights), access to those services (reproductive health), and how societal factors such as race or social status impact access to and decisions about reproductive health (reproductive justice). This includes everything from contraception and comprehensive sex education, to abortion and pre-natal and pregnancy care, as well as other issues that inform a person’s full reproductive autonomy. This special collection brings together knowledge and insights from organizations addressing reproductive health related issues and explores the impact foundations and nonprofits are having on this work.

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Featured

The State of Reproductive Health in the United States: The End of Roe and the Perilous Road Ahead for Women in the Dobbs Era

January 19, 2023

In June 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that nothing in the United States Constitution guarantees a women's right to abortion. Within six months of the decision, 15 states had banned abortion. More are anticipated to do so in the 2023 state legislative sessions that will commence this month.This study reports on the state of reproductive and sexual health in the United States during the final years of the Roe era. Gender Equity Policy Institute's "The State of Reproductive Health in the United States," analyzes data on key indicators such as teen births, maternal mortality, and newborn deaths, and compares trends between groups of states. Our objective in this inaugural report is to establish a baseline for future assessments of the effects of abortion bans on women's health and well-being in the coming years.

Featured

Behind the Counter: Findings from the 2022 Oral Contraceptives Access Survey

September 26, 2022

Over the Summer of 2022, Advocates for Youth surveyed 243 people from 43 different states about their experiences trying to access birth control pills as young people and young adults. The findings paint a concerning picture that we believe every policymaker should read.For the 55% of respondents who couldn't get on birth control due to the constraints of the current prescription-only system, one in five experienced an unintended pregnancy. Many more suffered unnecessary stress, lost wages, and more.It is time the United States join more than 100 countries around the world and bring The Pill over-the-counter and onto the shelves for all ages, covered by insurance. 

Featured

Nowhere to Go: Maternity Care Deserts Across the U.S.

September 25, 2022

Consistent, high-quality maternity care is essential to protect the health of all moms and babies. Maternity care encompasses health care services for women during pregnancy, delivery and postpartum. With over 3.5 million births in the U.S. annually, and rising rates of maternal mortality and morbidity, there is ample opportunity to improve maternal and birth outcomes in our country. The 2022 Nowhere to Go: Maternity Care Deserts Across the U.S. report is an update of the 2020 report and aims to increase education and raise awareness about maternity care deserts. Along with data and maternity care deserts classification updates, new topics touching on the postpartum period, the importance of telehealth and the intersection of chronic disease and pregnancy are included.

تأثير الصراع على خدمات الصحة الجنسية واإلنجابية في شمال غرب سوريا (The Toll of Conflict on Sexual and Reproductive Health in Northwest Syria - Arabic)

March 14, 2023

أثر العنف الموجه ضد الرعاية الصحية على توفر خدمات الصحة الجنسية واإلنجابية وكذلك إمكانية الوصول إليها، بما في ذلك الخدمات األساسية واالختصاصية. وهذا أدى إلى:نقص خدمات الصحة الجنسية واإلنجابية جراء قلة عدد العاملين والمرافق والتجهيزات واإلمدادات واألدوية في شمال غرب سوريا. * محدودية توفر رعاية الصحة الجنسية واإلنجابية، وخدمات الرعاية األخرى، ألن قسماً كبيراً من مرافق الرعاية الصحية ُيشيد أو ُينقل بعيداً عن خطوط القتال، مما يحد من وصول التجمعات السكانية القريبة من مناطق النزاع إلى هذه الخدمات. كما تعاني هذه المرافق من االكتظاظ بسبب عدد السكان الكبير وزيادة الطلب في المناطق اآلمنة نسبياً.تبني ممارسات تأقلم ضارة بالصحة في المناطق التي تعاني نقصاً كبيراً في خدمات الصحة الجنسية واإلنجابية، ومنها تأجيل زيارات الرعاية األساسية والتخلي عن تناول األدوية، بحسب ما أفاد به المشاركون.آثار سلبية بعيدة المدى على صحة النساء، بما فيها صحتهن النفسية االجتماعية وصحة أطفالهن، بسبب غياب خدمات الصحة الجنسية واإلنجابية األساسية أو تعذر الحصول عليها عملياً.الفئات األكثر تهميشاً، بمن فيها النساء في المخيمات وذوات االحتياجات الخاصة وذوات الدخل المحدود والمتزوجات في سن مبكرة، هن األكثر تضرراً من ندرة رعاية الصحة الجنسية واإلنجابية.----Targeted violence against health care has impacted the availability of and access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care, including basic and specialized services. This has resulted in:SRH services are insufficient due to limited staff, facilities, equipment, supplies, and medication across northwest Syria.SRH care provision is limited, among other things, by the fact that many health care facilities have been built in, or relocated to, geographic areas far from the front lines, limiting access to SRH services for communities close to conflict zones. Because of the large population and demand in safer areas, these facilities experience significant overcrowding.In areas where SRH services are largely unavailable, respondents reported harmful coping practices, including postponing essential SRH visits and forgoing medication.When required SRH services are not available or practically inaccessible, there are far-reaching, negative consequences for women's health, including for both their psychosocial well-being and that of their children.The most marginalized people, including women residing in camps, those with a disability, those with limited income, and those married at a young age, are most adversely impacted by the paucity of SRH care.

She Pays the Highest Price: The Toll of Conflict on Sexual and Reproductive Health in Northwest Syria

March 14, 2023

Targeted violence against health care has impacted the availability of and access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care, including basic and specialized services. This has resulted in:SRH services are insufficient due to limited staff, facilities, equipment, supplies, and medication across northwest Syria.SRH care provision is limited, among other things, by the fact that many health care facilities have been built in, or relocated to, geographic areas far from the front lines, limiting access to SRH services for communities close to conflict zones. Because of the large population and demand in safer areas, these facilities experience significant overcrowding.In areas where SRH services are largely unavailable, respondents reported harmful coping practices, including postponing essential SRH visits and forgoing medication.When required SRH services are not available or practically inaccessible, there are far-reaching, negative consequences for women's health, including for both their psychosocial well-being and that of their children.The most marginalized people, including women residing in camps, those with a disability, those with limited income, and those married at a young age, are most adversely impacted by the paucity of SRH care.

Women's Issues Are Community Issues: 2023 Status Report on Women and Children in Central Texas

March 8, 2023

Austin Community Foundation believes that ensuring the economic security of women and children is essential to closing the opportunity gap in Central Texas, and we know we cannot do this without addressing the racial wealth and health divide faced by women of color. In this report, we explore indicators that point to the well-being of women in Central Texas through the building blocks of economic security: child care, education, housing and women's health.

A Call to Funders: Tactics in Law, Policy and Advocacy for Reproductive and Birth Justice

January 25, 2023

On November 16, 222, Funders for Birth Justice and Equity convened over 80 funders and donors for a special webinar on how philanthropy can support the ecosystem of activism toward reproductive and birth justice.  The webinar, supported by Irving Harris Foundation, Perigee Fund, and co-sponsored by ECFC and other philanthropic partners,  presented a conversation between four community-based legal experts examining: how systems threaten people's ability to make decisions about their bodies, families, and communities; law and policy work being done on the ground to transform the architecture of our health and human service systems; and how funders can partner with advocacy groups to support the ecosystem of activism toward reproductive and birth justice, and advance bodily autonomy and full spectrum care for pregnant, birthing people, and their families.This report summarizes the specific strategies and invitations to action shared on the webinar; highlights examples of inspiring grassroots efforts taking place across the country; and invites funders to be part of supporting the kind of transformative work that will bring us closer to achieving reproductive and birth justice.

Contraceptive Deserts

January 20, 2023

More than 19 million women of reproductive age living in the US are in need of publicly funded contraception and live in contraceptive deserts. Living in a contraceptive desert means that they lack reasonable access in their county to a health center that offers the full range of contraceptive methods. Around 1.2 million of these women live in a county without a single health center offering the full range of methods. For all of these women getting contraception means having to do more than showing up to an appointment. They must find a babysitter, take time off work, or travel long distances to access their preferred birth control method. And they're not alone. We know that there are women across the US who aren't eligible for publicly funded contraception but still rely on the same health centers. Whether for convenience, privacy reasons, or instances of reproductive coercion, women who have insurance may still seek contraception at health centers that primarily serve low income women. It only tells part of the story to say that 19 million women live in contraceptive deserts.This resource provides a visual description of where women in need can access birth control—and where they can't—across the country. As the map moves from dark purple to yellow to dark pink, access declines.

The economics of abortion bans: Abortion bans, low wages, and public underinvestment are interconnected economic policy tools to disempower and control workers

January 18, 2023

Abortion has long been framed as a cultural, religious, or personal issue rather than a material "bread and butter" economic concern. Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, more economic policymakers have been emphasizing the issue as a pressing economic concern. In perhaps the first public comment on the issue by a major political figure, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen noted: "eliminating the right of women to make decisions about when and whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades" (Guida 2022). This direct connection between abortion and reproductive access and economic rights is critical (Banerjee 2022). This report argues that abortion access is fundamentally intertwined with economic progress and mobility. Specifically, in states where abortion has been banned or restricted, abortion restrictions constitute an additional piece in a sustained project of economic subjugation and disempowerment.The states banning abortion rights have, over decades, intentionally constructed an economic policy architecture defined by weak labor standards, underfunded and purposefully dysfunctional public services, and high levels of incarceration. Through a cross-sectional quantitative analysis of state level abortion access status and five indicators of economic security—the minimum wage, unionization, unemployment insurance, Medicaid expansion, and incarceration—we find that, generally, the states enacting abortion bans are the same ones that are economically disempowering workers through other channels.The results of the analysis underscore that abortion restrictions and bans do have economic effects, given the strong correlation between abortion status and various economic wellbeing metrics. Further, the consistent pattern of state abortion bans and negative economic outcomes shows how abortion fits into an economics and politics of control. Abortion restrictions are planks in a policy regime of disempowerment and control over workers' autonomy and livelihoods, just like deliberately low wage standards, underfunded social services, or restricted collective bargaining power. Economic policymakers must prioritize this issue as widespread abortion bans will contribute to a loss in economic security and independence for millions in the current and future generations.

Supporting reproductive health among birthing persons with chronic conditions in the US: A qualitative multilevel study using systems thinking to inform action

January 11, 2023

To use systems thinking with diverse system actors to (a) characterize current problems at the intersection of chronic conditions (CCs) and reproductive health (RH) care and their determinants, (b) determine necessary system actors for change, and (c) document cross-system actions that can improve identified problems in the United States.

Abortion in the U.S. Dashboard

January 1, 2023

On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating the federal constitutional standard that had protected the right to abortion. Without any federal standard regarding abortion access, states will set their own policies to ban or protect abortion. The Abortion in the United States Dashboard is an ongoing research project tracking state abortion policies and litigation following the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Be sure to click on the buttons or scroll down to see all the content. It will be updated as new information is available.

Communities Need Clinics: The New Landscape of Independent Abortion Clinics in the United States

December 6, 2022

Abortion Care Network's annual report on the landscape of abortion care access in the United States and the critical role that independent abortion clinics play in maintaining access.