ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: reproductive justice

Building Community: The Power of Uplifting Local Stories

This week, the Rio Grande Valley’s URGE chapter hosted our first Abortion Speakout in collaboration with the 1 in 3 Campaign. The purpose of the Abortion Speakout is to uplift abortion stories in order to remind people that abortion is not just a matter of politics, but something that affects real people. The 1 in 3 Campaign uses storytelling as a way to shift the narrative around abortion and move past the stigma attached to it. This year, we hosted the Speakout in honor of Jane Doe, one of the young immigrants held hostage by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Our chapter in the Rio Grande Valley put together a zine to collect local stories, art, and poetry as part of our Abortion Speakout.   Stories from the 956: Abortion and Reproductive… Read more »

Domestic Violence Is a Reproductive Justice Issue

When my 24-year-old cousin got married this past year, my mom imparted onto her what she believes to be the key to an everlasting marriage. She said, “No matter what happens, just keep your mouth shut. Don’t say anything, don’t do anything; just accept everything and keep your mouth shut and make sure you do everything he says.” When I found out she said this, it occurred to me how deeply domestic violence had become woven into the fabric of not only her life, but also the lives of her children. It dawned on me that over the course of my childhood, my sister and I had publicly witnessed almost every woman in our family experience some kind of casual emotional abuse at the hand of their husbands. Somehow, just… Read more »

#Resist: Join Our 2017-18 Journalism Team

It’s that time of the year again! We’re looking for a new class of Student Journalists to write for the ChoiceWords blog for the 2017-18 school year. Reproductive justice work is making headlines all around the world right now, and your voice could be a part of the movement for reproductive freedom for all. Because we believe in intersectionality, we know that reproductive justice is economic justice is racial justice is labor justice. That allows you, our blogger, to write about almost every aspect of our social and political life! Our bloggers have discussed Black Lives Matter, anti-trans bathroom laws, Beyoncé, and the fight to increase the minimum wage. They have encouraged participation in the political sphere over ending the Hyde Amendment, restoring voting rights and filling the Supreme Court…. Read more »

The Battle of Birth Control

Birth control is a reality that many people take into consideration each day, with almost sixty two percent of reproductive age women taking a contraceptive and ninety nine percent of sexually active women ever using a contraception. Since it’s creation and distribution, the hormonal birth control pill has been revolutionary, giving many women a new freedom when it comes to their bodies. It has also had effects that were not so welcomed by many women, and it’s been a struggle that only those who are able to take it must deal with. Until recent years, at least. Male birth control has been a hot topic on the rise, with more and more trials starting to test the effects of possible methods. Injections, implants, and pills are among the methods being… Read more »

Virginity is a Myth

Virginity, a hymen, and purity. What do these things have in common? Exactly. Nothing. Virginity is a concept that mainly regards a woman who has had sex as disposable. This is especially apparent in the chewing gum analogy where a ‘chewed up’ piece of gum, or a woman who has had many sexual partners, should be discarded for a ‘fresh’ piece of gum. Society’s fixation on preserving virginity in women and eliminating virginity in men has essentially created false meanings when it comes to sexuality. Society has created the term “purity” as a state that mainly aligns itself to the female sex. In Jessica Valenti’s book “The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women,” she argues that chastity and abstinence-only rhetoric places a woman’s worth on… Read more »

Trust Me, We’ve Got This: Women and Birth Control Edition

I didn’t need birth control until I was almost eighteen. A few months away from college, not sexually active, and not facing any difficulties with my period; I had no real use for it until it became another thing to cross off my ‘become an adult’ bucket-list. When I finally got to the doctor’s office, I had enough internet research under my belt to know exactly what I was going to ask for. The main stipulation I had as I walked into the clean, tiled hallway was something that did not have to be taken daily, knowing my own habits for forgetting to take antibiotics and other medicines taken orally. When I walked out, I had a prescription for daily hormone pills and a defeated sense of self. After talking with… Read more »

Chubby Not Chastity: Guess What? I’m Fat and Want Plan B

During finals week this past April, I found myself slumped over a frequently dying PC, empty Starbucks double shots and a series of text messages about Plan B. My sole sexual partner at the time was trying to convince me that sex with condoms is lame and that au-naturale was the way to go. Now, of course the break from studying piqued my interest so I listened to his various arguments for why latex-less sex was what all the kids were doing. After a few misguided attempts to convince me, he offered up what I’m sure he saw as the winning argument: “how about I buy you Plan B afterwards.”   There it was, the end all, be all of preventative methods. Except there was one flaw with this holy… Read more »

Miss(Cis) Expectations: Pregnancy & Trans Identities

It’s the first week of classes and I’ve already had to defend my decision not to carry children twice.  It happens at least once every year, either from friends, family or well-meaning acquaintances, my insistence that I will never carry is met with disturbed, pity-filled consolations – pity because some assume I am infertile or believe my queerness has jaded my perceptions of pregnancy, and shameful disbelief that I fail to follow my “maternal instincts.” This pity typically morphs into anger or twenty-minute tirades filled with alternative options, as if I have never watched a Laci Green video, or as if my decision is not well-informed and just came overnight. These interactions demonstrate concern at best from commentators, but for me, they demonstrate disrespect towards my identity and autonomy. My first memory… Read more »

My journey as a Catholic Reproductive Justice activist

I’m what you would call a cradle Catholic. I was baptized as a baby and I have been Catholic since. I go to Mass, read my Bible and say the rosary. I went to Catholic school from the time I was three years old until I was 14. I am also a reproductive justice activist. It is no secret the Catholic Church has always been very openly against abortion and, in a lot of cases, contraception. I don’t really know if there was ever a time where I decided and openly said that was incorrect and I was going to go against the teachings of the Church, I think it has always been a part of me. Deep down, I always knew it was wrong to deny abortion and birth… Read more »

Psssst. Straight Passing Privilege is a Fantasy

The first time I heard Jenny Lewis, she was singing about some pretty heavy stuff. I was 16 and at that point in my life, I could count the number of rebellious things I’d done on one hand. A Man/Then Me/Then Jim for someone like me (who stressed if she was even a few minutes late to class) was edgy in a really romantic way. I clearly remember thinking how cool Jenny Lewis was for writing a song about someone who had really complex romantic relationships with both men and women. Clearly, I could not read a song title. I know now that the song traces the lives of three different speakers, only one of which is actually Jenny. Regardless of Jenny’ actual intention, though, for me it has always… Read more »