Marie Stopes Australia welcomes White Ribbon Australia’s reinstatement of the reproductive rights statement on their website.
We do, however, hold concerns as to what the stakeholder consultation process entails. The recent commentary from White Ribbon has also left us confused as to what White Ribbon is; a membership organisation or an organisation that advocates against domestic violence.
Our main concern with stakeholder consultation on reproductive rights is that it becomes a consultation about women’s bodily autonomy which would be very unhelpful.
Our main message to White Ribbon is to use this as an opportunity to educate the community about reproductive coercion.
We, like many other organisations involved in advocacy on this issue, are also White Ribbon stakeholders. We have extended an invitation for White Ribbon to consult with us.
We maintain our current position of not working with White Ribbon until such time as the organisation can demonstrate an ongoing, strong commitment to reproductive rights.
We know that there is a growing evidence-based link to Intimate Partner Violence, Family Violence and Sexual Violence.
To address it, it needs to be part of the community response to prevention of violence against women.
The most important issue we face with reproductive coercion is the lack of research on the prevalence and various lived experiences of the issue. This research will help all of us working in the sector to appropriately respond.
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Marie Stopes Australia is a national not-for-profit provider of sexual and reproductive health services including permanent and long-acting reversible contraception and abortion care.
Media contact: Jacquie O’Brien 0428 396 391