Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

The Guttmacher Institute honors the memory of Robin Chandler Duke, Board Member Emerita

The Board of Directors and staff of the Guttmacher Institute mourn the loss of our Board member emerita Robin Chandler Duke, who passed away on February 6 at age 92. Ms. Duke was an active member of Guttmacher’s Board from 1981 to 2007. We remember her as a vibrant force in the reproductive rights movement and a special presence in our organization.

Ms. Duke’s diverse career path included time spent as a journalist, stockbroker, United Nations delegate and ambassador—all remarkable roles for women of her time. She cultivated personal relationships with many political leaders, and she excelled at using her connections to put reproductive rights on the national and international agenda. In addition to her Board service at Guttmacher, Ms. Duke served as president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, was a founder of United Nations Fund for Population Activities, and was national chair of Population Action International for about 25 years. The Guttmacher Institute commemorates Robin Chandler Duke and her extraordinary life’s work. We are honored to have had this outstanding woman as part of the Guttmacher community.


The many harms of politicizing fetal tissue research to attack abortion rights

Potentially life-saving fetal tissue research is at the center of a political firestorm instigated by abortion opponents, who are using it as a weapon to attack abortion rights. A new analysis in the Guttmacher Policy Review discusses the past and present medical significance of fetal tissue research and offers legal and political context, including an overview of state laws on fetal tissue donation and research...more


The December 2015 issue of International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health is now available

International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health The December 2015 issue of International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health is now available online. Click here to find out what's in this issue.


Now accepting applications for the 2016 Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship

The Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship nurtures the development of future leaders in sexual and reproductive health and rights by providing financial support to students seeking Masters degrees in public health or public policy. The scholarship honors the legacy of Cory L. Richards, whose passion for mentorship and commitment to developing new leaders was a hallmark of his 38-year career at the Institute. Learn more about the scholarship here.


Evidence is lacking on the incidence and consequences of unsafe abortion in Chile

The most important finding of a new analysis on clandestine abortion in Chile is just how little hard evidence actually exists on the topic. The new report documents major gaps in knowledge on the incidence and consequences of induced abortion, the characteristics of women seeking abortion and their reasons for doing so...more (en español)


New fact sheet available on adolescent abortion in developing countries

Cost and confidentiality are the biggest barriers adolescents in developing countries face in obtaining safe abortion services, according to a new fact sheet. This resource, which also includes information about the incidence of unsafe abortion, access to safe abortion services, and access to postabortion care services for adolescents in developing countries, is available in English, French and Spanish...more (español, français)


On Roe anniversary, let’s remember the U.S. women for whom abortion is a right on paper only

As the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision approaches, all eyes are once again on the U.S. Supreme Court, which in March will hear a case that presents the most serious threat to abortion rights in decades. But what is often forgotten in this debate is that safe and legal abortion has long been out of reach for many U.S. women due to severe abortion coverage restrictions. Our new commentary at The Hill’s Congress Blog explores this issue further...more


State abortion restrictions since Roe v. Wade

In the 43 years since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade, states have enacted 1,074 abortion restrictions. Of these, 288 (27%) have been enacted just since 2010. As a result, the last five years account for more abortion restrictions than any other single five-year period since Roe...more


Health insurance reimbursements typically do not cover Title X providers’ full cost of care

Health insurance reimbursements received by safety-net family planning providers supported by the Title X program typically fall significantly short of what is needed to cover the actual cost of care provided, according to a new Guttmacher study. The findings underscore the need for higher reimbursement rates and show the enduring importance of Title X and other grant programs...more


Guttmacher-Lancet Commission launched

Fourteen recognized experts from an array of disciplines and geographic regions will serve as commissioners on the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. They will work with the Commission’s co-chairs, Ann Starrs, President and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute, and Dr. Alex Ezeh, Executive Director of the African Population Health Research Center, to articulate a forward-looking and evidence-based vision for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) priorities worldwide over the next 15 years, and to encourage the adoption of policies and programs that will turn that vision into reality...more

Also see our news release announcing the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission and other work related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a devex commentary by Guttmacher president and CEO Ann Starrs and an analysis in the Guttmacher Policy Review.


In 2015, states enacted 57 new abortion restrictions

During the 2015 state legislative session, lawmakers introduced 396 provisions in 46 states aimed at restricting access to abortion. By the end of the year, 17 states had enacted 57 new abortion restrictions. Including these new provisions, states have adopted 288 new abortion restrictions in the last five years—as many as in the previous 15 years combined...more


As “religious liberty” laws are abused to undermine other rights, safeguards are needed for reproductive health access

Federal and state laws intended to protect religious freedom are increasingly being used by social conservatives to impede access to reproductive health services like abortion and contraceptive care. A new analysis in the Guttmacher Policy Review makes the case that more clarity and protections are needed to balance competing interests and prevent potential abuse of these laws…more

As of the end of 2015, 21 states have enacted their own versions of the RFRA


As U.S. abortion restrictions mount, issue of self-induced abortion gains attention

The criminalization of self-induced abortion, as well as of pregnant and miscarrying women, does not advance women’s health or address the underlying societal and public health issues, argues a new analysis in the Guttmacher Policy Review. Rather than taking a punitive approach, policymakers should focus on expanding access to social and health services, including family planning services and safe abortion care…more


Despite being highly restricted, induced abortion is common in Nigeria

In Nigeria, induced abortion is permitted only when necessary to save a woman’s life, but still the procedure is common there. A new study by the Guttmacher Institute and the University of Ibadan finds that 1.25 million abortions were performed in the country in 2012, compared with the 610,000 abortions estimated to have occurred there in 1996. Most of these abortions were clandestine and many were unsafe. Unsafe abortion is a major contributor to Nigeria’s maternal mortality rate, which remains among the highest in the world…more

The Guttmacher Institute gratefully acknowledges the general support it receives from individuals and foundations—including major grants from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and The David and Lucile Packard Foundation—which undergirds all of its work.