ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: Texas

Culture Commodified in San Antonio

I recently moved to San Antonio earlier this year from the Rio Grande Valley. I have seen the gentrification happen before my eyes over the years. One of the biggest gentrified areas in the city- “The Pearl” is an expensive little market place. The community surrounding The Pearl quickly saw a decrease of lower middle class Mexican families in the area due to gentrification. It’s got everything white people want- exclusive, expensive apartments surrounded by a bourgeoisie food court and tons of overpriced, whiterun shops. Allow me to better paint a picture of these shops for you. They commodify the fuck out of being in San Antonio- a historically Tex-Mex city. Native American and Mexican artworks/clothing items are also sold in another. The people running these stores, boasting that they… Read more »

Mind F*ck: Sex Ed Trivia Night with Feminist Union @ University of North Texas

Since the semester just started, Fem U wanted to host an event centered around sex ed and sex positivity that also built community amongst new and returning members. The top three with the highest scores won prizes with mystery bags from a local sex shop as well as fun giveaways and self care goodies. In addition to the trivia (which was free to participate in), the chapter had raffles that people could pay to be entered in and were a really fun fundraiser!  The event was held at local queer coffee shop called Q’s and the staff there were so amazing and supportive. The chapter plans to host a fat and body positive burlesque show in October during Love Your Body Week! We also had the Condom Club from UNT… Read more »

Texas Doesn’t Care About Low Income Women’s Reproductive Health

When I think about my beloved home state, I think of many things: breakfast tacos, Selena, longhorns, wide open spaces, and crippling abortion restrictions. Seeing as I am newly minted Midwesterner for college, I have been catching up on Texas news this week to feel close to home. This week, a nonprofit government watchdog, The Campaign for Accountability, went to the District Attorney of Travis County (the county that Austin is in) with complaints against the anti-choice organization, the Heidi Group. Their filed complaint alleges that the group is guilty of theft by taking state funds for services that were never provided. After the state removed Planned Parenthood from its women’s health program in 2011, Texas saw a significant spike in births among low-income women, many of whom lost access… Read more »

Easter in Texas: Resurrected Bathroom Bill Now A Sickening Zombie

Part-time Texas Governor and full time conniving Slytherin, Greg Abbott, announced his encouragement of Texas House Bill 2899, which bars transgender individuals from using the bathroom consistent with their gender and overturns any anti-discrimination ordinances passed by Texas localities. HB 2899 is the evil spawn of Texas Senate Bill 6, which had similar aims but is being held up by Speaker of the House Joe Strauss, who is taking his sweet time (probably intentionally) to assign the bill to a committee. Without a committee assignment, the bill has lost traction. This stall apparently concerned hateful lawmakers, who seem hell bent on passing any type of trans-discriminatory legislation before the Texas session is over in May. So how bad is this resurrected bathroom bill? IT’S TERRIBLE! UGLY! NO GOOD! Brainless, decayed and… Read more »

Surprise! Anti-choice group fails to provide healthcare to Texans

As you may remember, this past August Texas shunted over $1 million away from women’s health funding and gave it to anti-choice extremist organization The Heidi Group. The Group was tasked with expanding availability and accessibility of women’s health care services through out the state, with the intention of focusing on strengthening the presence of Crisis Pregnancy Centers. Last week, The Associated Press reported that the Heidi Group has failed in these and its own measures of success. According to the Associated Press, the Heidi Group has failed in three simple but significant areas since accepting the award money. The group was supposed to create a 1-800 number to answer Texans’ questions, massively increase public outreach and availability of the centers through social media, and update all of the participating… Read more »

We Need To Talk About The Maternal Mortality Rate In Texas

The Lone Star State is known for making legislative decisions that negatively impact reproductive health. From withdrawing Planned Parenthood from HIV testing programs, closing abortion providers , and cutting funding to health programs, the state has created unsafe atmosphere for reproductive health. Texans are dying of pregnancy-related ailments at a higher rate than the rest of the country and even most other industrialized countries. Black women in Texas account for 30% of maternal deaths and Hispanic women in Texas make up 31% of maternal deaths. The Texas legislature have used laws and policies to create a grim reality for women living in Texas. In rural regions of the state, Texans live without a nearby abortion provider and experience long waiting times at local health departments to receive medical treatment and services. Instead the state gives… Read more »

Fetal tissue burial: whatever happened with the proposed Texas rules?

Texas abortion rights activists had much to celebrate this year –namely the U.S. Supreme Court’s HB2 decision. But that joy was diminished when Texas Governor Greg Abbot suggested new fetal tissue burial codes would be enforced by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services on July 1, 2016 in the Texas Register. These proposed codes are not “laws” per se, but rather would make up the administrative guidelines issued by the Texas Department of Health Services –guidelines that medical facilities and practitioners would be forced to abide. The newly proposed codes specifically target abortion providers (the overwhelmed but powerful handful that remain) and require that fetal tissue, whether miscarried or aborted, regardless of gestational age, be interred or cremated. During a particularly painful period, I passed a thick, clotty glob of… Read more »

WTF Texas?! Anti-choice group tasked with providing healthcare

At the beginning of August, I was alarmed to read that the State of Texas had awarded a little over $1.6 million to an anti-choice extremist group (surprise!). Anti-choice proponent, Carol Everett, heads the Heidi Group, a group that does not provide healthcare services, but does support anti-choice clinics and agendas. This award came from a large pool of money that the state has allocated to fund the Healthy Texas Women Program, Texas’ version of Medicaid. The program is intended to provide Texans aged 15-44 with comprehensive whole health check-ups, contraceptives, and diabetes and cholesterol treatment and monitoring. Cool beans, got it, everything makes some type of sense now; Texas is working with healthcare providers across the state to ensure Texans have quality health care. Great! …Except for the small… Read more »

Three Takeaways from the Biggest Abortion Case of Our Generation

This week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments about the Texas HB2 case, Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt. HB2 is a bill in the Texas  legislature that would further restrict abortion access in the state. If put into full effect, this bill will close down all but ten clinics. Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt can change the way abortion cases and reproductive justice is handled state by state from here on out. This precedent could revolutionize reproductive justice and the law. Here are three takeaways from the case thus far. Three Women Occupying Seats on the Supreme Court is Revolutionary                                                      This is the first time the… Read more »

Is Campus Carry Safe for Everyone?

Starting August 1, exactly fifty years after the infamous shooting at the University of Texas, the state of Texas will begin implementing a new law commonly known as “Campus Carry.” Once this law is enforced, it will allow individuals with concealed handgun licenses to carry a concealed weapon on the property of any public university in the state of Texas. The university president of each school is in charge of developing the policies and guidelines that their campus will follow in regards to the new law. Students all over the state have been demonstrating how they feel about the new law being put into place (Remember last years’ protests, Cocks not Glocks?). There have been protests, petitions and various forums for students and faculty to share their opinions and concerns…. Read more »