Unlike most men, in our society, a women’s life trajectory is often inextricably linked to childbearing. Childbearing can be a joyous and life-affirming occasion. It can also be traumatic, emotionally and physically harmful, result in severe family instability, or simply be ill-timed.
As a college student many years ago, due to stigma around birth control and a lack of readily available information about effective methods of birth control, I became pregnant before I wanted to be. I was confronted with some hard decisions. How many girls and young women find themselves facing a similar situation every day? How many will find themselves with fewer options than I had 40 years ago?
In the end, I made the decision I knew was right for me. Will this be the same for young girls tomorrow?
Every woman deserves the right to make decisions that impact her health and well-being. A woman knows her circumstances the best and her decisions about childbearing must be respected. Women deserve fact-based information to guide their decision-making. Let’s make sure they have it! They deserve access to the full range of contraception options. Let’s make sure it’s low cost and available. Women deserve safe and legal health care services when and if they need them. Let’s not deny them that!
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.