This blog post is a part of NWLC’s Mother’s Day 2012 blog series. For all our Mother’s Day posts, please click here.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I want to let you in on a little secret. Reproductive rights are mother’s rights. When women are able to make informed, autonomous decisions about when and whether to have children, they have healthier pregnancies. Planning the timing of a pregnancy can prevent a range of pregnancy complications that can endanger a woman’s health, including gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. Planned pregnancies allow women to take steps to address and ameliorate health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, or coronary artery disease which may be worsened by a pregnancy and threaten the health of the fetus. Women who are able to adequately space out the birth of their children reduce their risk of adverse outcomes, including low birth weight, preterm birth, and small-for-size gestational age. Attacks on the contraceptive coverage requirement and abortion all undermine women’s ability to have healthy, successful pregnancies and become mothers when they are ready. And let’s not forget that reproductive justice includes not only the access to birth control and abortion but also access to quality, affordable maternity care and the right to live in an environment that is free from chemicals that harm fertility and pose a danger to a developing fetus. So, on Mother’s Day let’s take a moment to remember that all women and mothers deserve reproductive justice.

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