Who We Are
We are a group of women who came of age when access to birth control, reproductive healthcare, and abortions was either severely restricted or not available in the United States. In the 1960s and 70s, thousands of people fought to change the attitudes and the laws that prevented access to these essential services. We wanted to end the unnecessary deaths and other human costs associated with inadequate family planning and illegal abortions. We share a fundamental belief that access to all forms of sexual and reproductive healthcare is essential to improve the lives of women and their families. As grandmothers, we speak from long experience and seek to preserve a legacy of choice, access, and the right to make decisions about one’s own healthcare.
What we do
GRR collaborates with women’s and family health organizations to increase access to sexual and reproductive health services. We are organizers, advocates and crusaders. Through communication, education, and direct action we seek to protect the rights that already exist and increase access to reproductive healthcare for all women and families. We welcome partnerships with grandmothers across the United States who share our passion for this cause.
We do not provide any family counseling or healthcare services. If you need help with issues related to pregnancy or sexual health please consult the resources section of this website.
A Message from Judy Kahrl, GRR Founder
As members of the generation that grew up in the 50s, 60s, and early 70s, we lived in the days when women in this country had little or no access to birth control. Abortion was illegal and women were dying after unsafe abortions. For many women, the only way to stop getting pregnant was to have a hysterectomy.
Forty years later, many of us are grandmothers – older, and perhaps wiser. We are proud of the progress we made in the 20th century to improve access to reproductive services, but every day we see more signs that our rights to healthcare are being eroded by new restrictions. We are frustrated that despite our past efforts, our daughters and granddaughters may still be denied their reproductive rights. At the same time, we’ve been inspired by grandmothers around the world taking action to make the world a better place for younger generations. We know grandmothers have great power. And so we have decided to act.
A group of us joined together in early February 2013. We shared painful stories about the people we knew who had suffered from unsafe abortions, sometimes dying. And we laughed at the acronym for Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights: GRR! We chose to focus on access to family planning and abortion. We saw our strength as women who have experienced a few decades of life, caring for the health of future generations. Powerful as individuals, we knew our group impact would be even more significant.
It has been clear since the beginning that we want to be inclusive without ever losing our special identity as grandmothers. As a city councilman said recently, “You don’t mess with grandmothers.” Yet we know that when we join women from other generations, our power to advance women’s reproductive rights is strengthened. As we celebrate the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade here in the U.S., we are committing to the next decade of progress in defending reproductive rights and making the full range of reproductive services available to every woman and family in the country.