Health, Reproductive Rights & Sexuality
Reproductive health problems remain a leading cause of illness and death for women, particularly in developing countries. A leading cause of maternal death is lack of access to health services and prenatal care. Health begins with accurate and comprehensive sex education during adolescence – education that needs to continue throughout adulthood. Researchers in our network are currently working to disseminate evidence-based information and increase access to the full range of reproductive health services so that women can lead healthy and productive lives. Studies have demonstrated the advantages of comprehensive sex education compared with abstinence-only or other programs in preventing teen pregnancy, raising the age of initial sexual activity and lowering rates of sexually transmitted disease. More effort is needed to address the health needs of marginalized populations, particularly immigrant women, who are less likely to seek pre-natal and preventive screenings and care.