About Reproductive Well-Being
Power to Decide is working with leaders and social and healthcare providers from more than 40 national, state, and local organizations to build a nationwide Reproductive Well-Being Movement (RWBM). This movement will develop a culture and system of support to make it possible for every person—no matter who they are or where they live—to achieve the sexual and reproductive outcomes they want.
The RWBM has and will continue to work at both the national and community levels across various sectors that impact reproductive well-being, including, but not limited to the healthcare, human services, economic mobility and education sectors.
What is Reproductive Well-Being?
Reproductive well-being means that all people have equitable access to the information, services, systems, and support they need to have control over their bodies, and to make their own decisions related to sexuality and reproduction throughout their lives.
Reproductive well-being will be a reality when all people—of every gender identity, sexual orientation, and background—are:
- Seen and Understood. People are trusted by their providers and met where they are. Their experiences, cultures, and desires are respected. They receive information without judgment from providers who recognize that there is no “right” answer to complex decisions.
- Autonomous. People have freedom and safety to experience sexuality as they want to experience it, as long as it consensual and does not harm others. They have the power to make their own decisions about if, when and under what circumstances to have a child, or not.
- In control. People receive access to all the information and options available so they can make informed decisions. They can create a healthy future for themselves and a healthy start for the next generation if they choose to have or raise children.
- Surrounded by communities and systems of support. Reproductive well-being is an essential component of overall health and well-being, not only in the health care system, but in society in general. It is understood, discussed openly, and pursued by all.
How can we help achieve a culture of reproductive well-being?
We can: 1) shift our mindsets and those of our institutions and communities to align with the key tenets of reproductive well-being; 2) continually remind ourselves and others to check our assumptions as we work to serve our clients and constituents with humility; 3) talk about reproductive well-being in this way with the people we serve, our peers, leaders, and the decision-makers in our institutions and communities; 4) hear and validate people’s experiences without judgment, even if their experiences are unfamiliar or different from our own; 5) trust that people can make their own decisions, even if we don’t personally agree with them; and 6) be open to continual learning from our field and our clients and constituents.