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Women hold signs and chant during a rally for reproductive rights on June 09, 2019 in Sydney

Women hold signs and chant during a rally for reproductive rights on June 09, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo:Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

Describing 'Future We Want to Live In' Scores of Groups Unveil New Blueprint for Reproductive Rights

"The last two years," says new agenda, "have seen increasingly hostile attacks on reproductive autonomy and rights"

Andrea Germanos

Nearly 80 organizations on Monday unveiled a sweeping policy agenda intended to improve sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights.

"We can do more than fight back—it's time to move forward," women's rights group UltraViolet said in a tweet about the plan.

Entitled Blueprint for Sexual and Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice (pdf), the over 100-page document represents a far-reaching vision. It notes that "sexual and reproductive health and rights are inextricably linked to economic justice, voting rights, immigrants' rights, LGBTQ liberation, disability justice, and the right to community safety and racial equity."

Those intertwined issues are reflected in the diversity of endorsing organizations, which include the Center for Reproductive Rights, the National LGBTQ Task Force, People for the American Way, and Sierra Club.

Recent moves, say the organizations, have made clear that the nation is on a "dangerous trajectory."

"The last two years," reads the document, "have seen increasingly hostile attacks on reproductive autonomy and rights, creating a palpable urgency for action that demands a proactive and transformative agenda"

It notes, for example, the fact that in "seventeen states, abortion is simply a theoretical right for many individuals, as laws and policies have made it virtually impossible for people to access safe and legal abortion."

With areas of concern encompassing the state, federal and global levels, the new agenda focuses on five principles. They are, as noted in the document:

  1. Ensure sexual and reproductive health care is accessible to all people.
  2. Ensure discriminatory barriers in health care are eliminated.
  3. Ensure research and innovation advance sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice now and in the future.
  4. Ensure health, rights, justice, and wellness for all communities.
  5. Ensure judges and executive officials advance sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice.

Flushed out within those principles are a number of specific policy recommendations to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights. Among them are for states to expand their Medicaid programs; full federal funding of USAID HIV programs; ending the anti-choice Hyde, Helms, and Weldon Amendments; and terminating the so-called domestic and global gag rules.

Advancing reproductive rights and bodily autonomy, the blueprint explains, also includes policymakers supporting the decriminalization of self-managed abortion, both in the U.S. and globally, as well as supporting families' economic opportunities with policies including paid family and medical leave.

Adding to the recommendations are a call for authorities to treat detained immigrants with respect, and to take quick action on the climate crisis because people have the right to a healthy environment.

"This blueprint represents the future we want to live in where each individual has sexual and reproductive autonomy over their own body," the organizations say. "It provides a playbook on how to get there. And it is drafted with the expectation that it will be implemented as soon as we have a supportive Congress and Administration."

"That future is coming," they write, "and we are ready."

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