Comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health


CHANGE believes that comprehensive sexual and reproductive health programs and services are the most effective approaches for preventing maternal mortality and morbidity, fighting HIV and AIDS, and meeting the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and young people while also promoting human rights. When reproductive and sexual health programs are segregated from each other, it increases barriers to access and neglects the connections that exist among sexual and reproductive health issues.

CHANGE approaches this question from a woman’s standpoint: what combination of services, programs, and referral systems and what set of rights protections does one need to achieve optimal sexual and reproductive health? If the U.S. government is to help meet the world’s target of achieving universal access to reproductive health by 2015, U.S. policymakers must ask the same question.

See CHANGE's report Reproductive Justice for All: Toward a U.S. Foreign Policy on Comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Video: Making U.S. Foreign Assistance Work for Women and Girls in Ethiopia

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Support the Global HER Act

It is time for Congress to permanently end Trump's global gag rule. Join us as we urge Congress to demonstrate their commitment to women’s health and rights.

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Take Action for Rape Survivors

Tell President Obama: Stand with women and girls raped in conflict or crisis. Ensure that U.S. funds can be used to provide safe, voluntary abortion care overseas in cases of rape, incest, and life-endangerment.

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Source225 millionGlobally, 225 million women who wish to delay or avoid pregnancy have an unmet need for contraception.

Source8In sub-Saharan Africa, women 15-24 years old are 8 times more likely than men to be HIV positive.

Source340 millionEach year there are 340 million new cases of curable sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Source0Emergency contraception (EC) is not distributed by USAID.

Source$6.7 billionFulfilling the unmet need for modern family planning methods would cost, in total, $6.7 billion annually.

Source20 millionWorldwide, there are over 20 million unsafe abortions every year.

Source35In real terms, U.S. support for family planning is at the same level now as it was 35 years ago.

US House votes not to reauthorise domestic violence funding bill

Violence Against Women Act (Vawa) passes Senate but is not renewed after Republicans take issue with new provisions

Posted on January 2, 2013

Philippines contraception law signed by Benigno Aquino

Philippines President Benigno Aquino has signed into law a bill providing for free access to contraception and family planning.

Posted on December 29, 2012

Nigerian senate passes anti-gay bill, defying British aid threat

CNN, November 30, 2011 - The Nigerian senate has passed a bill banning same-sex marriages, defying a threat from Britain to withhold aid from nations violating gay rights. The bill by Africa's most populous nation calls for a 14-year sentence for anyone convicted of homosexuality. Anyone who aids or "abets" same-sex unions faces 10 years in prison, a provision that could target rights groups.

Posted on November 30, 2011

Women and HIV

What is it with women and girls? Why are we always left behind? Why can’t we choose the things we want to be a part of? Why must we always race to the front, rather than be left peacefully alone when we would rather not partake? Is it because, as women, we are strong, powerful, and the foundation of our society?

Posted on June 3, 2011

ETHIOPIA: Tackling the perils of pregnancy

Childbirth will prove fatal for one in 27 women in Ethiopia and much of the rest of the continent, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), versus a rate of one in 8,000 in industrialized countries

Posted on August 17, 2010

Hillary Clinton Touts Global Health Initiative as Key Foreign Policy Tool

"What exactly does maternal health or immunizations or the fight against HIV and AIDS have to do with foreign policy?" Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton queried a packed crowd of faculty and students at the Johns Hopkins School of Advance International Studies on Monday. "Well, my answer is 'everything.' "

Posted on August 17, 2010

SWAZILAND: ABC approach to be shelved

"If you look at the increase of HIV in the country while we've been applying the ABC concept all these years, then it is evident that ABC is not the answer," said Dr Derek von Wissell, Director of the National Emergency Response Council on HIV/AIDS (NERCHA).

Posted on August 16, 2010

Ethiopia: U.S. foreign policy and unsafe abortion in Africa

United States foreign policy abortion restrictions have often hampered African NGOs’ efforts to reduce deaths and disabilities associated with unsafe abortion procedures. In a positive recent development, however, the fight for African women’s access to safe abortion services took a small but important step forward.

Posted on August 5, 2010

Impact of Global Gag Rule on Women’s Health and Rights

The global gag rule is a U.S. foreign policy that – when enacted – prohibits foreign non-governmental organizations that receive U.S. family planning funds from advocating for abortion or providing abortion as a method of family planning. It does not prohibit activities around abortion in the cases of rape, incest, and life endangerment. However, it is unclear as to whether or not services are actually provided under the three exceptions.

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File Under: Policy Briefs, Fact Sheets

The DREAMS Partnership

The DREAMS Partnership is a public-private partnership between the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Girl Effect to reduce the disproportionate level of new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa.

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U.S. Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls & SRHR

Sixty-two million girls are not in school and 250 million adolescent girls are living in poverty worldwide. To address this global challenge, in March of 2016, the U.S. Department of State released the United States Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls. What does it mean for SRHR?

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Zika (With EndNotes)

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus with symptoms that include fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis, and headache, which last from several days to a week.

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Human rights are at the core of sexual and reproductive health and rights and serve as a critical roadmap to addressing health crises such as the Zika outbreak. Global health responses must be founded in these rights to help protect the rights of women before, during, and after pregnancy, regardless of disease.

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Report Summary: All Women, All Rights, Sex Workers Included:

Too often, female sex workers (FSWs) are excluded from policymaking conversations about their own sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). FSWs experience significant unmet sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) needs related to HIV/AIDS, family planning, sexual health, maternal health, and gender-based violence. Yet, the global response to the health of FSWs has focused largely on HIV, at times to the exclusion of other vital SRHR needs.

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All Women, All Rights, Sex Workers Included:U.S. Foreign Assistance and SRHR of Female Sex Workers

This report provides an overview of best practices to advance the SRHR of FSWs, highlights some of the most urgent knowledge gaps that should be addressed by the international community, and assesses how U.S. foreign assistance can better conform with these best practices to support the SRHR of FSWs. The report also provides concrete recommendations on ways in which the U.S. government can and should take action, including supporting the decriminalization of sex work globally, eliminating the Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oath (APLO) and the Helms Amendment, and ending the conflation of voluntary sex work and trafficking.

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Our Vision: Integrated Health Services For All Women and Girls, Everywhere

On June 15 and 16, 2015, 25 advocates from across sub-Saharan Africa and the United States came together to create an integrated prevention agenda for women by women. With an eye towards the large body of existing work on integration, the purpose of the meeting was to create a shared vision from advocates and providers across different fields and to acknowledge the multiple entry points for this work. This is our vision.

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Comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health Topics

Components and Attributes

There are three essential components of sexual and reproductive health care: family planning, sexual health, and maternal health.

Comprehensive Services in Low-Resource Settings: Ethiopia

In 2010, CHANGE conducted a study tour in Ethiopia and identified effective practices and obstacles in providing comprehensive services in low-resource settings.

The Case for Comprehensive: Dominican Republic

In the Dominican Republic, NGOs offering integrated services are able to provide higher quality care than their public counterpart.