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October 18, 2011

Policy Resolution on Reproductive Rights and Justice

The Center for Women Policy Studies is honored and proud to share with all of our global colleagues and friends the following document - prepared by the women state legislators from throughout the United States who participated in our 2011 Strategic Action Convening for State Legislators on Reproductive Rights and Justice. We invite all of you to endorse the Resolution by sending an email to: cwps@centerwomenpolicy.org.

We will publish the final list of endorsing individuals and organizations before the end of 2011 and will keep you posted about our plans for our continued work on reproductive rights and justice in 2012. PLEASE DONATE NOW to support the Center and the women state legislators who are our leaders on reproductive rights and justice in every state.

POLICY RESOLUTION ON REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS AND JUSTICE

BY THE NATIONAL STRATEGIC ACTION CONVENING FOR STATE LEGISLATORS

ON REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS AND JUSTICE

CENTER FOR WOMEN POLICY STUDIES

JULY 15-17 2011, WASHINGTON, DC

October 11, 2011:

  WHEREAS: Women comprise more than half of the population of the United States of
America and are solely responsible for childbearing; and
   
  WHEREAS: Women who plan their pregnancies are more likely to seek prenatal care,
improving their own health and the health of their children; and
   
  WHEREAS: The United States of America ranks 30th in the world in its rate of
maternal mortality and has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality among all developed nations; and
   
  WHEREAS: Family planning services improve health care outcomes and wellness for
women and families, access to family planning is directly linked to declines in maternal and infant mortality rates, and women who do not receive prenatal care are three to four times more likely to die after a live birth than are women who have received even minimal prenatal care; and
   
  WHEREAS: Contraception enables women to better prevent unintended pregnancies
and plan for pregnancy when they do want to have a child, and publicly funded contraceptive services and supplies prevent nearly two million unintended pregnancies each year in the United States; and
   
  WHEREAS: Nearly half of all unintended pregnancies end in abortion and abortion
rates in the United States of America increase during times when contraception is less accessible to low income women; and
   
  WHEREAS: The United States of America has one of the highest rates of unintended
pregnancy among the world's developed nations, half of all the pregnancies in the United States are unintended, and half of unintended pregnancies occur in women who are not using contraceptives; and
   
  WHEREAS: In addition to the primary purpose of allowing women to plan and prepare
for pregnancy, other health benefits of contraception include reduced risk of endometrial and ovarian cancers, ectopic pregnancy, iron deficiency anemia related to heavy menstruation, osteoporosis, ovarian cysts, and pelvic inflammatory disease; and
   
  WHEREAS: Racial and ethnic health disparities are particularly pronounced in
reproductive health - including disparities in rates of contraception usage, unintended pregnancies, maternal mortality, and sexually transmitted infections - and these disparities reveal significant barriers to access to sexual health care (including contraception), medical care, and medically accurate sexuality education; and
   
  WHEREAS: A majority of American voters believe that matters related to women's
reproductive rights, including contraception and abortion, are personal issues that should be decided by women with their families, health care providers and/or clergy members;
   
  THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE WEEK OF JANUARY 22 - 28, 2012
shall be recognized as REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS AWARENESS WEEK, to encourage public awareness, conversation, and support for reproductive rights and justice nationwide.
   
   

PREPARED BY:

 

Representative Lori Berman, FLORIDA

Representative Beth Kerttula, ALASKA

Senator Charleta B. Tavares, OHIO

   
SIGNED BY:
 

Representative Terese Berceau, WISCONSIN

Representative Lori Berman, FLORIDA

Representative Maria Antonia "Toni" Berrios, ILLINOIS

Representative Barbara Bollier, KANSAS

Senator Olivia Cajero Bedford, ARIZONA

Representative Elizabeth Coggs, WISCONSIN

Representative Cindy Evans, HAWAII

Representative Peggy Gibson, SOUTH DAKOTA

Representative Kathy Hawken, NORTH DAKOTA

Representative Katie Hobbs, ARIZONA

Representative Beth Kerttula, ALASKA

Senator Linda Lopez, ARIZONA

Representative Stacey Newman, MISSOURI

Representative Stacy Erwin Oakes, MICHIGAN

Representative Cindy Ryu, WASHINGTON

Representative Jennifer Seelig, UTAH

Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, NEW YORK

Senator Charleta B. Tavares, OHIO

National Strategic Action Convening for State Legislators on Reproductive Rights and Justice Participants

The Center's Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) designation code is #11963