The Ms. Foundation for Women is leading the fight to ensure that all women have the resources, rights and respect to make reproductive health decisions that are best for themselves, their families and their futures. This includes supporting the right to choose if and when to parent; protecting women’s reproductive rights, including abortion, access to contraception and health care, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color; and promoting policies and culture shift that enable all to parent with dignity.
It’s ridiculous that birth control and basic health services are still “controversial” – and even more alarming that political leaders continue to put up obstacles to affordability and access to essential reproductive health care.
Trusting in Women
Imagine a world where girls can grow up into adulthood with the security that all aspects of reproductive health (from sexual health education to preventive health services to abortion) are an essential part of health care. Let’s imagine a time when the political battle over the control of women’s bodies disappears because women’s lives are understood to be the backbone of families, communities and the economy. Well, our imagination can become reality. The Ms. Foundation takes a proactive approach to reproductive health beginning with our trust in women of all backgrounds to know what is best for themselves, their families and communities. This trust in women – particularly those whose lives are most impacted by barriers to access and care – is a core principle to our winning approach.
Fighting for Access
When it comes to reproductive health, the current battles are intense. Today, women’s health is being dictated by legislation, rather than women themselves or their doctors. Legislators are determining when and which women should or should not have children, dominating a cultural narrative that runs counter to the reality of how people live their lives. Think it’s just about abortion? Think again. During the 2012 election season, one of the most hotly debated issues was access to birth control. And there have been increasing attempts to limit women’s access to basic health care – especially for low-income women, women of color and immigrant women. Defunding organizations like Planned Parenthood, denying women coverage for contraception, and banning abortion insurance coverage are far more likely to affect women with fewer resources. And since a woman’s ability to control her health and reproductive choices has a very real impact on her and her family’s long-term financial stability, her access to health care is a fundamental economic issue.
And by the way, when we say that access to contraception is a crucial part of basic health care, we’re expressing the majority opinion. Eighty-four percent of people in the U.S. agree that family planning services are part of basic preventive health care. Unfortunately, a silent majority isn’t going to get us very far. We’ve got to get loud.
Despite the overwhelming amount of energy and effort that’s being spent on restricting and controlling women’s access to health care, the Ms. Foundation is making strides to defend our rights. Our work and the work of our grantees have helped elevate women’s voices to defeat proposed legislation, and ensure that every single woman in the United States has the power as well as resources to make her own decisions. We are activating local communities to stand up and be counted, inserting women’s voices into how Obamacare rolls out across the country, and we are just getting started.
Women’s Health: Reports
Join Our Fight
We are not going to let anyone make our health care decisions for us. We are not going to let anyone take our reproductive rights away. We are not going to let anyone tell us how and why to shape our families. We are not going to let anyone limit another woman’s access to basic health care. Join us and help us defend your rights, and the rights of every woman in the United States.