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There are many avenues of reproductive rights activism. In addition to the resources highlighted in the subject pages, below are additional direct links to tools, talking points, presentation outlines, connecting to other activists, and other resources to become involved.
Psychological Damage Inflicted on Girls and Women from Restrictions on Reproductive Rights
As the news in the United States these days about restrictions on women’s reproductive freedom echoes Margaret Atwood’s (1985) novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, the Activism Caucus of the Association for Women in Psychology considers it essential to point out the alarming psychological consequences of laws that limit girls’ and women’s rights to make decisions about their bodies and their futures.
This is especially the case for the most extreme measures, such as those embodied in the Alabama legislature’s vote on May 14 to classify abortion as a felony.
These laws are damaging to the emotional health of girls and women in a number of important ways:
(1) Growing girls learn that in crucial, life-altering ways, the government has more control over their bodies than they do. This is important for many reasons, one of which is that a sense of control has been shown repeatedly in psychological research to be important to mental health and well-being. Rape and incest are examples of extreme loss of control, and at least In some cases, making the decision to have an abortion after rape and incest are important parts of healing, but the new Alabama law prohibits that;
(2) Women, who already have fewer legal rights than men under the U.S. Constitution, are experiencing shock and fear as they see government entities with all their power take away some of the most important rights they do have. In the decades since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1972, most women have been able to make decisions about whether and when to give birth, and they have felt secure in their right to privacy. These new laws substitute the opinion of state legislatures over the opinions of women and their doctors, and they suggest that women are incapable of making ethical decisions based on their own health and circumstances; and
(3) Accompanying these reactionary attempts to challenge reproductive rights are moralistic fervor and the blaming and shaming of girls and women who choose to use birth control measures or who choose to have abortions. This causes fear, self-doubt, low self-confidence, feelings of being unsafe, and beliefs that others consider them incompetent to make major decisions about their lives and undeserving of reproductive rights.
(4) When reproductive rights are restricted, higher-income women find it easier than lower-income women to purchase or travel to seek the health care they want and need, and the physical and mental health of the latter will suffer.
Women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are essential to mental health and well-being.
The Association for Women in Psychology is a 50-year-old organization whose mission includes the promotion of emotional health and happiness for all.
The Guttmacher Institute provides research and news analysis specific to each state as well as nationally.
Mapping Our Rights: Navigating Discrimination Against Women, Men, and Families is an interactive resource for examining reproductive rights policies state-by-state. The site allows a search by specific reproductive issue or allows all reproductive rights issues to be included in the policy report.
Planned Parenthood and NARAL host action centers to direct advocates to specific campaigns, provide advocates with presentation tools and talking points, and connect advocates with legislators and other individuals.
National Organization for Women (NOW) advocates for 'Reproductive Justice' as every woman's right; they support and direct activists to reproductive rights and other women's and human issues.
SIECUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States) works for the right of all people to have accurate information about their sexuality and sexual health. SIECUS gives information and direction for activism, including state and legislative profiles, talking points about current controversy, and directions for sexuality and sexual health advocacy.
Abortion Access Project provides downloadable campaign materials, brochures, and other materials for public education.
Resolve collects current information about advocating for infertility issues in state and national legislation.
Choice USA addresses popular reproductive rights issues as well as those that get less press, including LGBT issues with reproductive rights, the effects of welfare reform, and reproductive rights for students.
NLIRH works to promote the voice of the Latino community to advance the reproductive rights of Latinas.
Black Women's Health for political advocacy provides talking points about sex education, STDs, a full range of reproductive health options, and the effects of welfare laws and abusive uses pf contraception and sterilization on Black women.
Republicans for Choice believe that women and men are best served by policies that support family planning and a woman's right to choose.
Religion and Reproductive Rights
The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice is a multi-faith organization that provides talking points about reproductive rights from a faith-based perspective and links to specific-faith statements of support for reproductive rights.
The Planned Parenthood Pro-Choice Religious Network helps clergy of diverse faiths to become involved in reproductive rights advocacy.
Catholics for a Free Choice offers support for Catholic pro-choice advocates of reproductive and sexual freedom.
MergerWatch is an organization that monitors and reports on how religiously-informed public policy affects reproductive rights, including a pharmacist's refusal to dispense contraceptives, physician's refusal to perform procedures, and others. The site offers many presentation tools for public advocacy and speaking.
The Center for Reproductive Rights supplies an online toolkit for abortion rights advocacy and legal fact sheets about parental notification, so-called "partial birth" abortion bans, EC, contraceptive equity, Title X family planning, and more.
The ACLU's home for "Life, Liberty, and Reproductive Freedom" is called Take Issue, Take Charge. It provides information and tools for activists and links to blogs on reproductive rights issues, all in the interest of promoting women's right to make informed decisions about their reproductive health free from government interference.
The Feminist Women's Health Center advises advocates on ways to take action for reproductive rights.
Activists of the Feminist Majority Foundation monitor threats to reproductive rights in the US and State Supreme Courts and provide fact sheets and calls to action for reproductive rights issues.
FeministCampus.org links to information about joining or starting reproductive rights campaigns in university populations.