In retrospect, I was just lucky — I was 6 years old on January 22, 1973. By virtue of my birth year, I have lived all my reproductive years empowered by the knowledge that I wholly and privately controlled whether and when to become a parent.
Until recently, I never imagined that my generation would be a historical anomaly.
But here we are, only 50 years later. My grandnieces and grandnephews are now entering their adult lives with fewer liberties than I had. Their pregnancies will be riskier, their life courses less self-determined, their sense of self perhaps diminished by the knowledge that, in becoming pregnant, they must relinquish their autonomy. It’s a dim and threatening future for individuals and our society. But I’m not hopeless either. Just as the right I enjoyed for so many years was bequeathed to me by my mother’s efforts, I will do my part to pass on the same gift to generations ahead. The work continues.
Our Focus on Women’s Health
Our commitment to women’s health runs deep. For nearly a decade, the Foundation’s Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative has been using equity-focused strategies to save lives through FLOURISH St. Louis and Bootheel Babies and Families. Building on our commitment, we launched The Right Time to empower people to take control of their health. Most recently, we’ve been exploring ways to promote high-quality, equitable maternal health care with partners around the state.
In Our Own Words
The Supreme Court’s decision and the consequences to follow will touch women of all ages, races and ethnicities, across all sectors, industries, socioeconomic levels, and lived experiences. Over the course of the next few days, MFH will release the stories of its women in leadership. This series captures real-life accounts of the five women who are members of the Executive Team at the Foundation, reinforcing how essential women’s rights are and how crucial adequate reproductive care is in reducing health disparities and the role it plays in shaping the outcome of one’s life.