Ms. Coeytaux is internationally known for her promotion of comprehensive reproductive health services, safe abortion services, and the development of new reproductive technologies. In her thirty-year career she has worked to empower women, particularly in managing their reproductive health and rights, and has pioneered the use of acceptability research to give voice to women in the shaping of public health agendas. Ms. Coeytaux is a Co-Founder of the Pro-Choice Alliance for Responsible Research and serves on the Boards of EngenderHealth and the Center for Genetics and Society.
A recent Rewire piece treated the vexing question of commercial surrogacy as a litmus test for feminists. For us at Pro-Choice Alliance for Responsible Research, we believe that contract pregnancy can’t be understood in such a simplistic framework.
What is a woman to do if neither her plan A (birth control) nor her plan B (the morning-after pill) worked? Wouldn’t it be great if she had a plan C—a medicine similar to these other pills that would start her period and end her anxieties? Such a thing exists, and it should be available to all women.
There is much we can learn from our sisters in the Global South who, rather than trying to gain access to services that all too often do not exist or fail to treat them well, are obtaining pills to induce abortion and taking them at home without seeing a health provider.
We applaud the California governor's veto of AB 926, which would have permitted researchers to pay women for their eggs. His decision was based, in part, on the fact that the risks to women who provide eggs outweigh the potential scientific benefits.
If we have a cheap and readily available drug that can prevent and treat the two largest causes of maternal mortality worldwide—postpartum hemorrhage and unsafe abortion—why have we not taken more advantage of it?