Reproductive Rights and Global Women's Health

The act of bringing a human being into the world is dangerous and an ultimate act of courage and self-sacrifice made by people who can become pregnant.

Major policy changes such as the US Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade will introduce unprecedented restriction to abortion care and, in some cases, access to contraception. Fear of legal repercussions can compromise care even for those who are experiencing miscarriages.

The risks of pregnancy and childbirth are much higher for those who are poor and marginalized. In the United States, maternal mortality in non-Hispanic Black women is 330% higher than that of white women, and this has gotten worse in recent years. Unfortunately, these are the same groups who will pay a higher price when reproductive rights are severely restricted.

Despite decades of improvement in access to family planning services, approximately half of pregnancies in the United States are unintended, and of these 40% are terminated, according to data from 2001-2008. Globally, 29% of all pregnancies end in induced abortion, with the proportion of unintended pregnancies ending in abortion being higher in countries where abortion is legally restricted.

Many of our global partners have now surpassed us in their support of their individual citizens’ rights to make medical decisions based on what is best for their health and the wellbeing of their families. At CGHSR and in our Global Women’s Health program, we support reproductive rights for all people.

Our partners around the globe who have fought for and won reproductive rights provide courageous examples for the United States to follow. We look forward to learning from and with our partners in the ongoing fight for reproductive rights for all.

– Dr. Rahel Nardos

Rahel Nardos, MD, MCR, is the Director of Global Women's Health at the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health 


Global Health in India

In 2018, Liz Sopdie, PhD, joined eight students on an interdisciplinary journey as part of the India: Global Health, Globalization and Leadership course.

“Travel promotes personal growth and teaches you about your own resilience,” she said. “The entire experience is something you can’t get in a classroom or in a familiar place.”

Applications for our 2022 Mysore, India course wil open in August — open to UMN graduate students, alumni, aand community learners for credit or non-credit.

Learn more about Liz's experience and join our mailing list to be notified when applications open.


Announcing Recipients of 2022 Global Health Seed Grants

We are excited to announce the recipients of Global Health Seed Grants for 2022. Each of the selected projects exemplifies the CGHSR mission and goals of the Seed Grants program, including to advance equitable international research collaborations and build effective and innovative interdisciplinary health science research.

Learn more about the 2022 Seed Grant recipients' projects on our website.

Kathryn Cullen, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UMN Medical School

"Creativity and Inspiration to Promote Mental Health and Resilience in Young Adults in Japan."

Beth Thielen, MD, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, UMN Medical School

"Improving Diagnosis and Management of Viral Infections among Ugandan Children Undergoing Cancer Chemotherapy through Use of Next-generation Metagenomic Sequencing."


Global Health in Local Contexts

Applications are still open for our fall course Global Health in Local Contexts (GHSR 6713 Wed, 5:30-8:30 pm). This course immerses students in the study of health equity, the social determinants of health, and community-based healthcare in the Twin Cities.

Open to UMN graduate students and community learners; credit and non-credit registration options available. Apply now!


2021-2022 Fogarty Global Health Fellows

The Fogarty Global Health Fellowship program is an NIH-funded, 12-month research fellowship that provides outstanding opportunities for highly motivated students to experience research training at research sites.

This year's fellows will be completing their training in India and Uganda. 

  • Harriet Opondo – Research project: Mental Health needs assessment of children ages 0-5 Living with HIV in an Urban Setting in Uganda
  • Nirali Patel – Research project: Microbial Transmission in Agricultural Wastewater Reuse
  • Preethiya Sekar – Research project: Tuberculosis Meningitis-Associated Neurocognitive Disability in the Context of HIV Co-Infection

Meet the 2022-2023 Fogarty Fellows from the University of Minnesota.


Keep an eye out! The RFP for our 2022 Global Engagement Grants will be released next month. CGHSR's Global Engagement Grants offer funding for innovative projects that blend work in research, education, and capacity building.

Our National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants (NRC-RIM) continues to release and update resources on COVID-19 vaccines for children. Health departments and community organizations that serve RIM communities can use this collection of resources in their efforts to extend their vaccine programs to eligible children.

Rahel Nardos, MD, MCR, director of global women's health at CGHSR, penned the editor's note for the July–August issue of Minnesota Medicine Magazine. Read the article: "We need to recognize and support the power of women physicians."

Contact the Center
University of Minnesota Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility
Mayo Memorial Building C311, Mail Code MMC329
420 Delaware St. S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455

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