The Center for Biological Diversity believes that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature, and the health of people and ecosystems alike is threatened by the same systems of abuse and exploitation. These principles guide our work on wildlife, human population, health, equity, and resource production and consumption.
We believe that universal access to quality, culturally sensitive healthcare is a basic human right, including abortion and other comprehensive, voluntary reproductive health services. All of us should have agency over our bodies and our decisions about whether — and when — to have children. Abortion, like contraception, Pap smears and STI testing, is an essential, normal component of reproductive healthcare. When safe, legal abortion is restricted, either in the United States or elsewhere in the world, it limits the ability of people to receive comprehensive medical services, make informed healthcare decisions and choose when to start a family. It also endangers patients and prevents health professionals from providing the best possible care.
The Center denounces all unnecessary, intentionally burdensome regulations placed on abortion providers. We seek to permanently repeal the Hyde Amendment and Global Gag Rule, which bar the use of federal funds to pay for abortions domestically and internationally. The Global Gag Rule not only prevents funds from being used for abortions but doesn’t allow any foreign NGOs receiving U.S. aid to offer abortions or abortion counseling. The harm done by the Global Gag Rule has long-term effects on sexual and reproductive healthcare services, even in years when it is temporarily repealed.
Attempts to reduce abortion access violate an individual’s bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom. We support protecting access to procedural in-clinic abortions and expanding access to at-home medication abortions. Abortion must not only remain legal, but also be affordable and accessible without requiring patients to travel hundreds of miles or endure other inequitable barriers to receiving care.
We do not support coercive population measures of any kind. We strongly support education and empowerment regardless of gender, voluntary family planning and comprehensive sex education, along with universal access to contraception and reproductive healthcare including abortion. Human rights and justice — including smart urban growth, the protection of clean air and water, the preservation of wildlands, a just clean energy transition, access to healthy food and equitable sustainable lifestyle choices — are necessary for people and the planet.
Banner photo courtesy Melissa Amarello