Reproductive Health

Reproductive health is a social justice issue: women cannot reach full equality if they do not have control over their own fertility.Wendy C. Wolf, WDN member

Our Vision

The Reproductive Health Circle exists to reshape the national conversation on reproductive health, as well as broader issues around women’s health. Our work has two major goals:

  • To expand the national reproductive health dialogue through values-based messaging, without compromising support for abortion rights.
  • To organize and mobilize women and the men in their lives who support reproductive health issues to take action and have their voices heard in the debate.

Activists campaign for health insurance reform with a focus on protecting women’s health. Flickr: ProgressOhio

Our Current Focus

The Circle is focused on supporting “megaphone strategies” that reach large numbers of women with messages about reproductive health and women’s empowerment, taking advantage of new social media tools and organizing for long-term engagement.

In 2014, the Circle will continue its role as a venture-investor in UltraViolet, a community of women and men fighting sexism in politics and culture. The Circle is also interested in exploring the intersection of grassroots community organizing and online activism to advance policy that benefits women’s health.

Our Story

In 2005, WDN’s Reproductive Health Circle partnered with the Communications Consortium Media Center (CCMC) to launch Moving Forward – a multi-year, multi-million dollar research and strategic communications project. Seventy-six WDN donors have supported this work, raising about $1 million that has leveraged over $2 million from partner foundations.

Moving Forward began with a multi-faceted research project to create a set of frames and messages that were found to be most effective in changing the tone of conversations around reproductive health and other health issues, without compromising support for abortion rights. As advocacy for reproductive and other health issues have evolved, the Moving Forward project successfully worked in different campaigns pushing for women’s access to a full range of health care.

To learn more about the Moving Forward project, please read the case study on Reframing the Reproductive Rights Dialogue.

In early 2012 the WDN Reproductive Health Circle partnered with a new online organizing entity, UltraViolet. WDN’s Reproductive Health Circle was UltraViolet’s first funder, helping to catalyze the online organizing community that is now more than 500,000 members nationwide. UltraViolet has been a leading voice on a number of high-profile campaigns over the last two years, including getting Rick Ross dropped from Reebok’s sponsorship, and helping Janet Yellen to become the first woman to head up the Federal Reserve.

For more updates on the circle’s work, please visit our blog.