November 15, 2018

Vision Statement, “A Call For Change: Putting People’s Health and Rights First,” marks phase one of the joint effort

The International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) is proud to join more than 100 reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations in outlining a bold, proactive vision for lawmakers to deliver on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

“This unified vision for domestic and foreign policy is a powerful commitment to women and girls worldwide and serves as a declaration that all people should have access to affordable, quality sexual and reproductive health care, with no exceptions,” said IWHC Director of Advocacy and Policy Shannon Kowalski.

In the recent midterm elections, US voters made it clear that they want leaders who protect sexual and reproductive health and rights; soon, pro-reproductive health majorities will be taking shape in the House of Representatives, governor’s houses, and state legislatures. This shift provides an opportunity to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights and remove barriers to care.

US domestic politics have, for too long, undermined sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and girls worldwide. Policies such as the Global Gag Rule and the Helms amendment have weakened health care systems, restricted civil society, and robbed women and girls of their fundamental rights to health and bodily autonomy. The proliferation of policies that allow providers to deny health care based on religious or “conscience” claims have further eroded women’s health and rights—45 of 50 US states have such policies, and the US champions so-called “conscience objection” on the global stage, where 70 jurisdictions allow for denial of care based on the provider’s beliefs. The time has come to trust women to make their own health care decisions, and the policy vision statement provides the catalyst to do so.

The vision statement outlines a coordinated policy vision of bold action, for the present and future, on sexual and reproductive health and rights. The vision statement is phase one of an unprecedented, collective effort to work towards policy change in service of women and girls around the world. A complete policy agenda, with legislative and administrative recommendations, will be released publicly in spring 2019.

The following groups signed on to the effort:

Abortion Care Network
Access Reproductive Care-Southeast
ACCESS Women’s Health Justice
Advocates for Youth
AIDS Alliance for Women, Infants, Children, Youth & Families
AIDS United
All* Above All
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
American Atheists
American Civil Liberties Union
American Jewish World Service
American Sexual Health Association
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Black Mamas Matter Alliance
Black Women for Wellness
Black Women’s Health Imperative
California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom
Catholics for Choice
Center for Health & Gender Equity (CHANGE)
Civil Liberties & Public Policy Program
Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR)
Community Catalyst
Feminist Majority
Feminist Women’s Health Center
Fund Texas Choice
Gender Justice
Guttmacher Institute
Healthy and Free Tennessee
Healthy Teen Network
Ibis Reproductive Health
Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda
International Women’s Health Coalition
Iris House, Inc.
Legal Voice
Lift Louisiana
NARAL Pro-Choice America
NARAL Pro-Choice California
NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut
NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts
NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota
NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri
NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina
NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon
NARAL Pro-Choice Texas
NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia
National Abortion Federation
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Council of Jewish Women
National Health Law Program
National Institute for Reproductive Health
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National LGBTQ Task Force
National Network of Abortion Funds
National Organization for Women
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Women’s Health Network
National Women’s Law Center
New Voices for Reproductive Justice
Northland Family Planning Centers
Not Without Black Women
Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice
Physicians for Reproductive Health
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Population Connection Action Fund
Population Institute
Power to Decide
Raising Women’s Voices
Reproductive Health Access Project
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS)
SIA Legal Team
Sierra Club
Sister Reach
SisterLove, Inc.
SisterSong: National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
Social Workers for Reproductive Justice
Southwest Women’s Law Center
SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW!, Inc.
State Innovation Exchange (SiX)
Texas Equal Access Fund
The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health
Transgender Law Center
URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity
UU Women’s Federation
Whole Woman’s Health
Whole Woman’s Health Alliance
Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health
Women’s Rights Empowerment Network (WREN)
Woodhull Freedom Foundation
Yellowhammer Fund

Contact: Liza Kane-Hartnett; (+1) 212-801-1260