What is Reproductive Freedom?

By Kimberly D’Urso, President

Many organizations exist for the sole purpose of maintaining a society which respects everyone’s right to intimate relationships, and to decide whether or not they choose to have children. Education, access to affordable contraception, and a ‘Life Plan’ all play a crucial role in an individual’s ability to make choices which reflect their personal beliefs.

Abstinence only programs which avoid scientific-based facts, perpetuate the idea that by providing sex education, teens will make poor decisions. In conveying this message of distrust, it makes it much harder to empower our youth in a dialogue about sexuality—including abstinence, consent, contraception, identity and healthy relationships—giving them the tools to prosper as emotionally stable adults.

Let’s begin with Defining Reproductive Freedom. There are five main contributors in understanding an individual’s reproductive freedom:What is Reproductive Freedom_Graphic

Self-Awareness. When a person has conscious knowledge of their character, feelings and personal beliefs they are self-aware. Gender identity, the ability to define consent, and establishing a ‘Life Plan’ are all acts of self-awareness– which may include starting a family early, waiting until after college or later in life, or not having a child.

Emotional Stability. When an individual is self-aware, they are better equipped to withstand peer pressure, recognize healthy relationship behaviors and avoid domestic violence or dangerous emotional instability patterns.

Choice. Without the opportunity to choose, there are no reproductive freedoms. Affordable access, patient rights, and confidential unbiased care are the basis to one’s reproductive choices.

Support. There are many ways support maintains reproductive freedom. Voting for a candidate who supports your right to choose, activism, or by donating your time/money, all support the many diverse organizations whose objective is to ensure reproductive justice for all.

Foundation. Reproductive freedom is founded on your constitutional right to choose what is best for YOU. Fully understanding your reproductive rights–and the organizations who support them–ensures that they are available for you, and generations to follow.

By providing women, men and teens access to confidential, unbiased resources to maintain their reproductive health, our community benefits from an increase in individuals who lead healthy, proactive lives–resulting directly in a decrease in unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Kimberly D’Urso is a certified Health Worker and President of Citizens for Choice. She is working with the Countywide Health Coordinator, Curriculum Coordinator-Safe Schools/Healthy Students to bring a comprehensive sex-education program to middle and high school students in Nevada County, as well as an independent program, Know it & Own it, offered directly through Citizens for Choice. If you are interested in learning more about these programs, Kimberly can be reached at kimberly.c4c@gmail.com

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