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Three Strategies for Promoting Women's Right to Safe Abortion Care

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Written by On The Issues Magazinefor RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the  original post.

Originally written by Ayesha Chatterjee and Judy Norsigian for On The Issues Magazine.

As current staff members at Our Bodies Ourselves (OBOS), an organization that has advanced the health and human rights of women and girls over four decades, and longtime reproductive justice activists, we continue to hope that safe and affordable abortion care will, someday, become a reality for everyone. With increasing attacks and restrictions on abortion access worldwide, we have our work cut out.

Here, in the U.S., the debate around abortion has become especially polarized. Right-wing and anti-choice groups bombard young people with messages that stereotype and stigmatize those seeking abortion services -- both individuals and entire communities. Think: billboards have popped up around the country equating abortion to the genocide of African-American children, who are further described as an "endangered species." These -- and other -- oversimplified messages mock a personal and often complex decision, not to mention the right to a constitutionally-protected and medically- safe procedure. They influence how people, especially young people, articulate and align themselves on abortion. They drive our activism -- our tireless commitment to alliances across aisles and opinions, and to conversations that move beyond "pro-life" and "pro-choice" rhetoric to focus on the individual, her needs, rights and circumstances.

Engaging, mobilizing and building alliances on an issue like abortion can be an uphill climb. But as 2012 rolls in, we want to take a few minutes to remind you about why it is important and suggest a few ways you can go about this challenge.

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