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Excerpts from Nuestros Cuerpos, Nuestras Vidas

IV. Health and Reproductive Rights (excerpts from the introduction)

Our health depends on sharing and exchanging love and pleasure. As women our bodies have the ability to create new life. This responsibility and privilege bonds us to all that is around us through intimate relationships with the sea and the moon, with family and community, with society and culture, and with the sacred. The capacity to choose how many children we want to have and at what moment in our lives we want to care for them ensures a healthy future all. Precisely because we value the sacred seed of life, we seriously consider the conditions necessary for its future development. We want to share how to better take care of our bodies and make reproductive choices in a clear and informed way, with all the respect that our most vital decisions deserve.

In these chapters, we first offer detailed information about how our bodies function sexually and during reproduction. All of us have lived through experiences in which basic information about our bodies has been hidden or denied under the pretext of our need for protection, but which  increased our confusion, vulnerability, and danger. No one can protect us from ignorance, which is one of the greatest sources of ill health. We also include the most complete and recent information on contraceptives.

We include a chapter on abortion, that describes what it means to have an abortion, legally or illegally. We emphasize the current struggle to legalize abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean. We also address the struggle to legalize abortion in the U.S., underlining the fragile nature of this right since it is under constant attack. Precisely because we recognize the sanctity of life, we want to make decisions that help us nourish the lives of the members of our families and communities. Recognizing this wider context, we need to take into account the mother’s life, the life of children already born, as well as those that might be born in the future. We also recognize that it is often difficult to put into practice the new knowledge we gain.

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