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Grassroots Efforts To Terminate Pregnancies Need Support

RH Reality Check: How Women Took Their Reproductive Rights Into Their Own Hands
Leila Hessini, chair of the Global Fund for Women board

“…Although pregnancy termination is one of the most common experiences people have across the globe, reproductive rights are often ignored by local health, community, or legal systems. In response, women have advanced incredibly innovative strategies for challenging the system and meeting their own needs. … The use of misoprostol — a pill available over-the-counter in many countries — as a safe, low-cost, and easy-to-use method to terminate early pregnancies is a shining example, to me, of women ‘doing it for themselves’ … Around the world, women have continued to promote this and other reproductive health information in a variety of ways … Because safe abortions are restricted, criminalized, or non-accessible for so many people, these grassroots efforts are both lifesaving and life-affirming. … Since last year’s Women’s History Month, thousands of women have died and millions of others have experienced injuries, stigma, and discrimination because their most basic rights to life, to good health, and to self-determination are being undermined. That too, unfortunately, is history. Isn’t it time that we build the global political will to really uphold all people’s reproductive rights?” (3/27).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.