|CFSS: Ensuring Safer Births and Better Health|
Based in São Paulo, Brazil, Sexuality and Health Feminist Collective (Coletivo Feminista Sexualidade e Saúde-CFSS) empowers women to protect their sexual and reproductive health and rights by providing much needed health services and education. CFSS offers low-income women gynecological and prenatal care through home consultations, as well as counseling and support for survivors of domestic, sexual, and racially-motivated violence. CFSS was founded in 1985.
With IWHC’s support, CFSS recently launched a campaign to educate women about Brazil's 2004 National Policy on Obstetric and Neonatal Care. This policy was designed to ensure women give birth safely by offering them access to skilled health care professionals during pregnancy and birth. The national policy also covered post abortion care; ensured that women with high-risk pregnancies received the necessary medical care; and allowed women to have a birth attendant during delivery to serve as a companion and an advocate.
This policy has not been widely implemented or publicized and most women and healthcare providers are unaware of its provisions. CFSS produced brochures and conducted informational sessions with women about the policy, and they created a hotline to field questions about the legislation. In addition to producing a report on the shortfalls of the policy’s implementation, CFSS is collaborating with human rights organizations to develop strategies to hold the government accountable for implementing existing laws designed to prevent maternal mortality.