About CORE

Mother and child smiling

Our Mission

CORE conducts and translates rigorous, interdisciplinary research to inform policies and programs so that all Wisconsin residents and families may live with reproductive autonomy–able to make decisions about their reproductive health and access needed services without interference or coercion.

 

CORE logo

Our Vision

All people in Wisconsin have unhindered access to the full range of high-quality, evidence-based reproductive health information and services. These services are easy to access and affordable to all. Services provided are inclusive, non-coercive, and consistent with principles of reproductive dignity.

 

Couple embracing by water

Our Goals

Conduct high-quality, rigorous, policy-relevant, and community-engaged interdisciplinary research on reproductive health and healthcare in Wisconsin. Disseminate findings to inform and improve reproductive health programs and policies in Wisconsin.

 

CORE Hubs

CORE is organized around five intersecting Hubs that provide the infrastructure needed to achieve CORE’s research and dissemination goals.

CORE Hubs

CORE Community Partners

CORE works closely with a network of community partners to ensure that our work is relevant to those most impacted by reproductive health inequities and policy changes. CORE partners include community-based organizations, advocacy organizations, public health departments, and healthcare providers. Many of our partners serve individual Wisconsin residents and families across the state who access reproductive health services and information.

CORE staff also serve on state and local coalitions and committees in support of reproductive health, rights, and justice, including the Wisconsin Contraceptive Access Network.

Wisconsin state capitol
Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison

CORE Values

CORE aligns our work with principles of reproductive justice, a framework developed by and for women of color to promote reproductive well-being and equity. Loretta Ross and colleagues define reproductive justice as nothing short of “the complete physical, mental, spiritual, political, economic, and social well-being of women and girls.”

Magnolia bloom
Photo by Bryce Richter/UW-Madison

Reproductive justice builds from the recognition that many communities, especially poor communities of color, have experienced historical reproductive abuses—from the breeding of slaves to coercive sterilizations to welfare benefits in exchange for long-acting contraceptives. Reproductive justice recognizes that the main reproductive challenge facing poor women of color is not unintended pregnancy, but rather structural inequities that provide some people with easier access to self-determination and bodily autonomy than others.

For CORE’s purposes, we support a reproductively-just world in which people can access and use contraception, abortion, and other reproductive health services if they wish to, but also have contraceptive methods removed if they wish to. We also wish to acknowledge directly prior reproductive abuses to certain socially disadvantaged groups.

Following are specific definitions of CORE critical values:

Reproductive autonomy

Reproductive autonomy pertains to people’s ability to govern their own reproductive selves and lives.

Reproductive dignity

Reproductive dignity pertains to the fair and just distribution of resources, opportunities, and social and political structural factors that ensure reproductive autonomy. Reproductive dignity lends respect, decency, and compassion to people as they pursue their reproductive lives as they see fit.

Reproductive equity

Provides a visual representation of the difference between equality and equity
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Reproductive equity refers to the strategies needed to produce fairness in reproductive autonomy and health. While equality may treat everyone the same, an equity frame recognizes that people may need different things to achieve reproductive autonomy, especially given power imbalances and centuries-long traditions of valuing the sexual activity and reproduction of some social groups over others.

Axes of inequity that we focus on in CORE include but are not limited to gender, race, ethnicity, place of residence, immigration status, nativity, sexual orientation, and level of ability.