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Reproductive Justice/Rights Movement

  • By: Jennifer K. DeWan
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Reproductive rights are rights pertaining to reproduction and reproductive and sexual health. Reproductive rights apply to all men and women at all stages of reproductive maturity, but particularly to women and girls of childbearing age. Maternal mortality is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age, particularly in poor and developing countries. Approximately 560,000 women die every year from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, and anywhere from 16 to 50 million women experience preventable pregnancy-related injuries, including hemorrhage, infection, brain seizures, hypertension, anemia, obstetric fistulae, and complications from unsafe abortions.

Although reproductive rights are most commonly associated with women's rights and the right to family planning, or more specifically, abortion rights, the scope of reproductive rights is quite broad. Issues that fall within ...

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