Every person, no matter who they are and where they live, should be able to make basic health decisions about their lives. Reproductive health and rights are both a domestic and international issue; we cannot talk about one without the other. But, attempting to keep up-to-date on the global fight on reproductive health can often be overwhelming. Helping us bridge that gap is Chloe Cooney with Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Because both in the United States and abroad, the intention behind every policy that limits reproductive health is an attack on women’s rights.
The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is a program that was born from bipartisan legislation in 2003 under George W. Bush’s administration. It was the biggest global health investment for a single disease by any country in the world, and still is today. We sit down with Caitlin Horrigan from Planned Parenthood Federation of America to discuss the evolution of PEPFAR, the ways in which it has provided care for HIV/AIDS patients around the world, and the attacks it is now facing from the Trump administration.
Bodily autonomy, the ability to plan if and when you have children, the ability to plan your pregnancy and family without government intrusion, and avoiding societal oppression and discrimination are issues that intertwine the LGBTQ+ community with reproductive health. Why should the LGBTQ+ community care about comprehensive access to reproductive health care? Because complete liberation includes being fully in charge of your own body and ability to plan your family, as Candace Bond-Theriault with the National LGBTQ Task Force tells us.
The sex work population is one of the most marginalized and stigmatized; on a daily basis, sex workers face consistent human rights abuses, like increased rates of violence and lack of access to primary and reproductive healthcare. Preston Mitchum with Advocates for Youth sits down with us to explain this lack of access to healthcare and how it impacts an already extremely vulnerable population of people both in the United States and abroad.
A religious refusal is when a healthcare provider refuses to provide or facilitate healthcare because it goes against their personal religious beliefs. This most often impacts services like abortion, miscarriage management, contraception prescriptions/procedures, HIV/AIDS treatment, and hormone therapy that women and LGBTQ+ people disproportionately require. Healthcare providers can ever refuse to provide information about healthcare conditions or referrals for appropriate care. Refusal to provide information and services translates to discrimination based on identity and orientation, and can put a patient’s life in danger. Rachel Easter from National Women’s Law Center discusses religious refusals and how they are shaping the world of healthcare.
Women in the U.S. are more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth related causes than women in other developed countries. Unfortunately, this is disproportionately felt by black women. Jamila Taylor, Senior Fellow with Center for American Progress, sits down with us to explain why black women are more likely to die from childbirth or pregnancy related causes than white women by an outrageous 243 percent.
200 million girls in 30 countries have undergone female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and 13 million girls under the age of 15 are at risk of undergoing FGM/C. Dr. Jacinta Muteshi-Strachan, FGM researcher with Population Council, sits down with us to discuss FGM/C and the impacts surrounding this severe violation of the human rights of girls and women around the world.
Worldwide, 1 in 3 women will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Tarah Demant with Amnesty International talks to us about gender-based violence, its ties to sexual and reproductive health and rights, and what it looks like throughout the world.
When a person crosses a border, they still carry fundamental human rights- including the right to choose if, when, and how they have a family. Bethany Van Kampen from the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health discusses the reproductive health needs of migrants fleeing their home countries and how these needs are failing to be met in the United States.
In 1994, the United Nation’s Population Fund (UNFPA) held the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt. The idea of population shifted from demographic trends and numbers to individuals that have a right to determine and plan their family size. Ensuring the empowerment of women and girls around the world became the resulting plan of action. Sarah Craven, the Washington representative for UNFPA, talks to us about the ideal family planning scenario around the world; every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person can live their life with full potential.