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Launching Research: National Reproductive Health, Rights, & Justice

May 8th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

Marching with over a million women in support of our reproductive rights was one of the most empowering things I have done, both as a woman and as a Member of Congress. – Sheila Jackson Lee

For years, various reproductive health, rights, & justice organizations have been working to ensure that women have the right to be in control of their physical, mental, and social well-being. This is a cause that is dear to many supporters. We first researched reproductive health, rights, and justice in 2010 and revealed 19 high-impact nonprofits. In order to keep our information relevant we refresh the research every three years, so we are looking into the cause once again.  We’re excited to discover how the sector and the research results will prove changed (or not!)

Scope of the Research

While reproductive health, rights, and justice is a global issue, for capacity reasons this research will focus specifically on identifying organizations within the U.S.

Areas of Focus

“Reproductive health” has come to include three sub-categories: reproductive health, reproductive rights, and reproductive justice.

Reproductive health refers to the work of ensuring the mental, physical, and social well being for women in relation to their reproductive systems. This can include treatment and prevention, prenatal care, cancer screenings, contraception, abortion, and LGBT health concerns.

Reproductive rights are legal rights and freedoms relating to reproduction and reproductive health. Reproductive rights may include some or all of the following: the right to legal or safe abortion, the right to birth control, the right to access good-quality reproductive healthcare, and the right to education and access in order to make free and informed reproductive choices.

Reproductive justice is a concept that links reproductive rights with social justice.  Its application has to do with ensuring equitable treatment and empowering those who are marginalized in this sector, such as younger women, women of color, etc.

Affordable Care Act – The 2010 passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has resulted in major changes in the sector. Some experts believe that it has fundamentally altered the landscape for family planning service providers. The PPACA will extend health care coverage to 32 million people by 2014 and change how patients access care in the public health safety net. The increase in access for individuals will also mean some major changes in infrastructure and capacity for service providers.

Provider Issues – In addition to growing infrastructure needs, providers face a breadth of important challenges which can result in limiting access to care for women.  For example, federal and grant funding has become increasingly limited for a variety of reasons.  Also, the current political climate around contraception and abortion has also severely limited services.

Types of organizations

We are asking experts to recommend up to four high-impact organizations working at a national level and up to two start-up nonprofits that have the potential to do high-impact work. Specifically, we are asking that they recommend nonprofits working in the area of reproductive health, rights, & justice.

We would like to encourage experts to consider a range of nonprofits when making recommendations. Reproductive health, rights, & justice encompasses many focus areas including:

  • Abortions
  • Cancer screenings
  • Contraception
  • LGBT sexual health
  • Pre and postnatal care
  • Sexual education
  • Treatments and prevention
  • Unwanted pregnancy and STD prevention

Types of nonprofits doing this work might include:

  • Clinical service providers
  • Direct service organizations
  • Foundations
  • Litigation organizations
  • Policy and advocacy organizations
  • Professional associations
  • Public education organizations
  • Research organizations
  • Technical assistance/intermediary organizations

Participation in the Research

If you are a professional (foundation staff, researcher, nonprofit staff member, etc.) working in the field of reproductive health, rights, & justice and have insights on nonprofit organizations working in this field, we’d love to hear from you. You may have received an email from us with a link to our survey. The survey will be open until early June 2013. We hope you will share your perspective and insights! If for some reason we have missed you and you think you have a valuable perspective to offer, please contact Jasmine Marrow at with information about your current position and background, and we would be happy to send the survey to you to include your recommendations.

Additionally, we invite your feedback and thoughts about how you might frame this type of work. For those readers less familiar with this topic, we hope you learned something new and will check in again when we have the results of this research. Thank you all for your participation!




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  3. Randell says:

    health, rights, and justice are hot topics that people are interested in. I wish you may offer more valuable info that really help us.

  4. Mina Shiko says:

    Thank you for you article and wonderful research regarding reproductive health and rights. Very informative and well written. At my organization called my std symptoms we try to educate women about sexually transmitted diseases and offer free counseling to those who feel they may have contracted and STD. Keep up the good work sisters and I hope we can work together.

    Dr. Shiko

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