PRSH Task Forces

PRSH task forces focus on important and emerging content issues that are of particular interest to members of our section.  Members of the task forces make recommendations on policy resolutions and other section affairs.




Lisa Maldonado,

Diana Romero,



Chair:  Iris Meltzer,


Adolescents in the U.S. and in many other countries around the globe face considerable risk from sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, and unintended pregnancy.  The Adolescent Task Force is interested in promoting the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents.  The task force provides a forum for discussion of critical issues in the reproductive health for teenagers, including:

  • Access to reproductive health services and sexuality education
  • Confidentiality of care
  • Sexual behaviors
  • Prevention of STIs and unintended pregnancy
  • Government policies and local programs and policies

Past discussions have considered program design, the role of evaluation research in program implementation, whether there is an “acceptable age” for the initiation of sexual behaviors in adolescence, and the importance of understanding the role of young marriage around the world.  The task force sponsors or co-sponsors invited scientific sessions on topics of interest to members.  Recent discussions have focused on U.S federal policies and local programs which are designed to promote abstinence until marriage and enforcement of statutory rape reporting laws.


The task force also develops position statements for consideration by APHA.  It is currently developing APHA position statements on abstinence-only programs and policies as well as public health issues in understanding statutory rape.


Emerging Reproductive Technologies


Susan Berke Fogel,

Judy Norsigian,


New reproductive technologies are developing rapidly with minimal public discussion about how they might impact reproductive rights and health. The religious right has focused the debate on the moral status of the embryo, obscuring issues of health equity, women’s rights, racial justice, disability rights, and other important social justice concerns. New technologies have emerged to select embryos during assisted reproduction; college women are being recruited as egg donors for fertility treatments; and policy is being proposed to ensure safeguards for women who provide eggs for stem cell research (just to name a few issues). As academics, advocates, and activists in the reproductive rights, population and family planning fields, we have to become well-informed to effectively participate in discussion, framing, and policymaking around these important issues. While these topics may seem removed from our everyday work, technologies are advancing so rapidly in so many areas that it is likely these issues will impact all of us sooner than later. We have the opportunity to play a key role in making sure reproductive rights and health are at the forefront of the debate and a primary focus of new policies.


Management and Sustainability


Erica Fishman,

Lisa Hare,


Men and Reproductive Health


Rebecka Lundgren,

Paul Whittaker,


Sexuality and Family Planning


Jenny Higgins,

Paul Whittaker,