Global Doctors for Choice (GDC) is an international network of physician-advocates who advocate for reproductive rights and access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including safe abortion and contraception.
GDC provides a platform that promotes and facilitates exchange, support and collaboration between physicians from diverse medical disciplines and from around the world. This enables them to be effective advocates for comprehensive reproductive health and rights, with respect for autonomy, and thus to improve access to reproductive health care.
GDC believes that physicians’ commitment to the scientific process and to the best interests of their patients compels them to advocate on behalf of universal access to comprehensive, evidence-based reproductive health care.
Launched in 2007, GDC believes physicians are uniquely positioned to advocate for their patients. They contribute scientific authority, a commitment to their patients’ best interests, familiarity with health systems, and firsthand experience with the devastating consequences of lack of access to reproductive health care and unsafe abortion.
GDC enables doctors’ voices and advocacy efforts to have a broader, collective, and more powerful impact on reproductive health and people’s lives by cultivating a global network of physician-advocates, training physicians as advocates, serving as a resource to transfer best practices in advocacy across borders, and creating opportunities for doctors to engage in policy change initiatives and to learn from one another, and being active in additional local, regional, and global initiatives.
Doctors as Advocates
Many physicians dedicate themselves to advocating for their patients and improving women’s lives by safeguarding their health and reproductive rights. Yet most work in settings where it is challenging, emotionally overwhelming, and often dangerous to do so, and thus they can feel isolated in this work.
GDC facilitates opportunities for individual doctors across the globe to connect with each another and join a powerful social movement that is working toward systemic change in reproductive health care worldwide.
GDC fulfills a unique niche by enabling doctors to contribute their medical and scientific perspective to national and international advocacy efforts aimed at improving access to reproductive health care.
Since its inception, GDC has given voice and sustenance to a global community of like-minded physician-advocates. We’ve recruited and mobilized a multidisciplinary group of physicians to function as advocates for reproductive health and rights throughout the world. Our network includes abortion providers, public health physicians, obstetrician-gynecologists, psychiatrists, internists, pediatricians, medical students and residents, and others.
Globally, GDC works directly with physician teams in Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Mexico, and South Africa, and cultivates the collective voice and work of an international network of physician-advocates via online support systems, including resources, training, and methods to connect with other physician-advocates. Our Coordinating Team is based in Malaysia and the United States. The Board of Managers consists of reproductive health and other experts located across the globe.
Charter and Principles
GDC’s work is rights based, aligned with the international human rights framework, and focuses on sexual and reproductive health, while respecting the dignity and the autonomy of the health decisions of all people. All members subscribe to the following articles of the Charter:
- Global Doctors for Choice is a global network of member physicians whose overarching goal is to improve reproductive health outcomes and to enhance women’s autonomy to control their reproductive lives.
- Global Doctors for Choice is committed to promoting exchange, support and collaboration between physicians around the world, so that they can actively work towards ensuring that all people have access to comprehensive reproductive health care, with respect for autonomy and the information and freedom of choice to make their own reproductive health decisions.
- Members will draw upon their experience in diverse medical disciplines to harness their medical credibility and scientific expertise as health care providers dedicated to the best medical interests of women and men from all over the world.
- Members will actively advocate to make comprehensive, evidence-based reproductive health care, including abortion, accessible for women worldwide.
Our values and principles provide the basis for our decisions and actions. GDC embraces the following guiding principles to steer its operations:
- We are pro-choice: We respect women’s dignity and autonomy, and are committed to defending women’s rights to control their reproductive lives all over the world.
- Our work is needs based: We are committed to advancing the reproductive health and rights of all people worldwide; our advocacy priorities are guided by a concern for those whose rights to reproductive health are most violated.
- We value medical expertise: As a network of medical professionals, we believe that doctors are uniquely positioned to serve as advocates for the best medical interests of their patients.
- We believe in the scientific process: We are united in a strong belief in the scientific process, and its relevance to reproductive health policy; policy and programming should reflect evidence-based best practices.
- We believe in solidarity: We believe that in solidarity there is power; we support a community of physician-advocates, facilitating the sharing of information and practical strategies, and fostering emotional support among colleagues who might otherwise be working in difficult and isolated circumstances.
- We work in collaboration with others: We are committed to collaborating with partners whose missions and expertise complement our own.
- We respect the importance of the local context: While Global Doctors for Choice unites and strengthens the voices of its members around a shared set of values, we recognize that our advocacy must be grounded in the local context, and incorporate local expertise.
We encourage you to print our brochure [ENGLISH | ESPAÑOL] and distribute it at relevant reproductive health meetings and events. If you want to help expand our network, please refer interested parties to our website and/or to contact us.
*GDC is an independent Limited Liability Company (LCC) and Physicians for Reproductive Health, a 501c3 nonprofit, serves as our fiscal sponsor.