Mission: To evaluate the reproductive health, rights, and justice policies of the most populous cities in the U.S. in order to help local leaders better understand how their city fares when it comes to reproductive health issues.
Background: Launched by the National Institute for Reproductive Health, the Local Reproductive Freedom Index is a first-of-its-kind initiative to evaluate the reproductive health, rights, and justice policies of the forty biggest cities in the U.S. To that end, the index tracks thirty-seven policy indicators to determine how well each city protects and advances reproductive freedom. Among other things, the index has found that twenty-one cities have taken steps to improve undocumented individuals' access to reproductive health care; eight cities have implemented policies to protect access to abortion; nine cities have passed measures focused on getting Congress to take specific policy actions such as repealing the Hyde Amendment; thirty-one cities have taken steps to provide funding for sexually transmitted infections; and seventeen cities have implemented some form of comprehensive sexuality education in public schools. Of the forty U.S. cities included in the index, San Francisco was found to do the most to protect and advance reproductive freedom for its residents, followed closely by New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Philadelphia.
Outstanding Web Features: Visitors to the index can see how their city measures up compared to other large cities and learn more about specific actions they can take to help bring about changes in their community. Under the Explore Cities tab, visitors will find an overall rating (based on five stars) for each city in the index and can combine a variety of filters (cities that protect abortion clinic access, cities that fund and cover reproductive health care, cities that support families) and indicators (clinic safety ordinance, regulation on crisis pregnancy centers, no funding for crisis pregnancy centers) to identify cities with specific policies. Visitors also can catch up with the latest reproductive health news, explore a blueprint for a city that fully supports the freedom and ability of all residents to control their reproductive and sexual lives, download a report (registration required) that explains the site's methodology, and link to additional resources on the National Institute for Reproductive Health website.