Monday, May 7, 2012

Empowering Choice

Over the past several years, YWCA Clark County has adopted core values that guide the way we do things. Our core values of empowerment, diversity, teamwork, commitment, service and respect are built into our job descriptions, policies, procedures and overall structure.

Looking at one value in particular – empowerment – the Board of Directors has recently approved a few revisions to the reproductive rights policy statement for YWCA Clark County.

As an organization, we strive to model empowerment in many ways. Our SafeChoice domestic violence advocates work with individuals to identify whether or not they will choose to leave an abusive relationship. Our ILS advocates work with foster care alumni to create a future for themselves that they choose, whether that be through education, employment, or another path. The advocates in the Sexual Assault Program help victim-survivors and their families identify whether legal action is the right choice for their family. By acknowledging that each individual has the right to make choices that impact their own lives – the staff at YWCA work daily to embody the value of empowerment.

The issue of reproductive rights is truly about empowerment. One way we strive to empower women is by insisting on every woman’s individual right to make her own choices about hOer own body and reproductive health. The full policy statement approved by the board is below.

reproductive rights


YWCA Clark County is a pro-choice organization.

The issue of reproductive rights is about empowering women to be able to make decisions
about their own bodies and lives. The YWCA position on reproductive rights is based on the
following principles:


  • Reproductive choice means that every woman has the freedom to make decisions about her body that best suit her physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and economic needs, making her own health care decisions privately.
  • Women must have the freedom to decide whether or not to have sex, become pregnant, and have children to be truly empowered.
  • They have the right to be informed about and have access to all legal contraceptive and reproductive options.
  • These decisions must be each woman’s without government interference or pressure from other individuals or groups.


  • In order to make reproductive decisions, women need education about the full range of reproductive health options.
  • This means age-appropriate, comprehensive sex education that teaches young people about all of their reproductive health choices, including information about abstinence, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, abortion, adoption and parenthood.
  • This also means that women seeking health services should not be refused information about their health options based on a health care provider’s religious or moral beliefs.


  • All women must have access to quality health care, including reproductive health services, regardless of their race or ethnic background, socioeconomic status, age or where they live.
  • It is especially important that women and girls who have been raped or sexually assaulted have access to a full range of reproductive health care options, that they receive sensitive and 
  • understanding medical treatment and advocacy, and that they are supported in whatever personal decisions they may make.

YWCA Clark County supports policies that affirm these principles, and it opposes efforts to reduce or deny reproductive choices.

policy statement on reproductive rights

YWCA Clark County defines pro choice as every woman and girl having the following rights:

  • access to comprehensive quality care,
  • the education to make informed decisions about her reproductive health,
  • the freedom to make decisions about her reproductive health care based on her own beliefs and values.

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