We give women the facts. And we make sure that programs, policies, and public spending reflect those facts.
One pregnancy too soon doesn’t have to lead to another. CFW grantee Options for Youth shows how. Its Subsequent Pregnancy Program has been remarkably successful, with 97 percent of first-time teen mothers who participate delaying a second pregnancy.
In an op-ed on the rise of single-parent households, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof highlighted SPP as an example of programs that “give young people a lift and a stake in the future.”
In January 2014, sex education in Illinois public schools got a makeover when Public Act 098-0441 took effect. The law requires that medically accurate, age-appropriate information on reducing STDs, STIs, and unintended pregnancies be the new sex-education standard for both middle and high school students.
Every bill that makes it into law represents a multiyear team effort. In the case of PA 098-0441, that effort included many CFW grantees. ACLU of Illinois led a coalition in support, helping other organizations understand the bill. Midwest Access Project, Mujeres Latinas en Acción, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, and EverThrive Illinois all played a role.
Kathy Waligora, M.S.W., policy and communications coordinator for Everthrive, summed up the general consensus. “A major part of controlling your body is having an understanding of your body and how to make different decisions. If comprehensive sex education is part of a student’s curriculum, we hope that [students] will also develop a greater respect for themselves.”
Cora Fletcher, a 17-year-old jailed for retail theft, lay with her arms and legs shackled to opposite sides of a hospital bed for three days before giving birth. Jennifer Farrar, charged with forgery, had her legs chained together through most of her labor.
Both had to deliver their baby with one arm handcuffed to a bed.
Thanks to Chicago Foundation for Women-funded advocacy efforts led by Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers (now part of Cabrini Green Legal Aid), scenes like these are becoming a thing of the past. Public Act 097-0660 now protects mothers and fetuses from chain belts and leg irons throughout pregnancy, not just at the moment of delivery itself. The new law defines handcuffs as a restraint, and includes reporting requirements to ensure transparency. And it keeps corrections officers out of the delivery room, unless medical staff request their presence.
FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT A Delicate Balance Summer is in full swing, and I hope you’re taking full advantage of it! As a […]
FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT Summer of Joy It’s officially the start of summer in Chicago! Thinking back to last summer, one of the […]
Iconic activist and political leader to highlight the role women play as true forces for change CHICAGO — Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) today announced […]
FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT Brave Enough To Be It This week marks my second anniversary at the helm of Chicago Foundation for Women. […]
CFW President and CEO Felicia Davis joined Elizabeth Barajas-Román, President and CEO of the Women’s Funding Network, and Mary K. Rutherford, President and CEO of […]
By Odette Yousef, WBEZ Chicago As Americans gradually return to pre-pandemic activities, the economic recovery for women may yet be many years away. An estimated […]
A conversation hosted by Perri Small, focused on the challenges and opportunities impacting Black Women and Girls outlined in the Black Congressional Caucus Report with […]
By Charles Johnson, Chicago Tribune More than 200 volunteers — clad in can’t-miss-us fluorescent yellow T-shirts and matching cloth masks — gathered Saturday morning in […]
Chicago Foundation for Women is a leading convener of women in Chicago. Check out our upcoming events below. All of our events, including those hosted by our Giving Councils, are open to the public unless otherwise specified.
To read about meetings and events we've held, visit our entire Events Schedule. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.