Letter to Members of Congress

Urging them to Support Reproductive Rights Abroad

Dear Member of Congress:

The Center for Reproductive Rights grieves together with the rest of the country and the world about the devastating events of September 11, 2001, and our hearts go out to all of those who have experienced such great losses. We share in the sorrow of our own community and nation, and of the families and nations throughout the world, that have lost loved ones and citizens as a result of this tragedy.

Yet our spirits are lifted by people of the United States and around the globe, uniting to preserve and celebrate the values and freedoms that comprise the core ideals of this great nation. The atmosphere of cooperation and bipartisanship in Congress as the nation moves to deal with the aftermath of this devastation heartens us. As Congress steps forward to combat terrorism and ensure global human security, it is demonstrating great wisdom in leading the efforts to address and resolve the root causes of terrorism through a renewed commitment to crucial international development assistance.

U.S. foreign development assistance helps struggling nations build stronger financial and physical infrastructures, establish sustainable education and public health systems, and develop into stable and just democracies founded upon respect for human rights and the rule of law. Family planning and reproductive health care are crucial aspects of that development assistance. Just as poverty, civil strife and infringement of inalienable rights create a fertile breeding ground for hatred and violence; access to family planning and reproductive health care leads to healthier mothers, stronger families, more equitable societies and more stable nations.

The Center has developed two new publications on international family planning and reproductive health (enclosed). These documents use a human rights lens to examine the United States’ thirty-year history of family planning assistance, developments in approaches to reproductive health care over the years, and recommendations for the future. We hope you find this information useful as our nation moves forward in our revitalized commitment to foreign assistance.

As an international human rights organization, we know it is essential for us and for our nation to resume and strengthen our efforts to work for more just societies that respect and ensure human rights and the rule of law. We are grateful for your work in this area and for our shared commitment to fighting for social justice and the realization of security, well-being and human rights for all people.