Fifty years ago, just five years after the FDA approved the first birth control pill, the Supreme Court struck down a Connecticut state law that prohibited the use of "any drug, medicinal article, or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception," thereby making birth control legal nationwide for married couples.
There is something unnerving about the rush of Republican presidential candidates to go on record as standing firmly against women's reproductive rights. They do not have the vaguest notion of what it is like to be pregnant as a result of abuse, incest, assault or a multitude of other wrongs, or simply what it is like to be a woman denied control of her own body.
Many governments still do not see the need to allocate or increase resources for efforts that would strengthen health systems to reduce maternal mortality, address violence against women, ensure access to sexual and reproductive health care, and end child marriage. In fact, these areas should be priorities if we are to achieve sustainable development for generations to come.
An outdated Supreme Court doctrine and congressional loophole leaves servicewomen unable to recover for the negligent prenatal care they receive in a military hospital. However egregious the malpractice and grave the suffering it causes, our law offers no recourse for the wrong done to the woman's procreative interest and to her child's physical and mental wellbeing.
We still have a long way to go in ensuring that men play an active role not only in their own health, but the health of their families. As a man in the movement for sexual and reproductive health and rights, I know it will take each and every one of us -- men and women alike -- to achieve gender equality in our lifetimes.