ChoiceWords Blog

Posts By: URGE Staff

This Is Not Just About Birth Control

If the Supreme Court finds in favor of Hobby Lobby, we are not just facing the repeal of a benefit that helps over 20 million people nationwide. We are facing the potential for an erosion of civil rights protections and the beginning of an era of government sanctioned discrimination. We can couch this debate in arguments of religious freedom or we can see this case for what it really is–discrimination wrapped in the cloak of religious belief.  If we look at the very basis of the suit it becomes apparent that this case is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of birth control and emergency contraceptives. The Green family (the owners of the  Hobby Lobby stores) has a particular objection to Emergency Contraception (EC) and IUDs. The Greens wrongly believe that… Read more »

How Sex Education Failed Me

Sex education in schools has been a contentious topic for a long time. A poster in a Kansas middle school brought up it up again after a parent became enrage that his child was being educated about “explicit” topics . Many schools in the country are failing to correctly teach children about contraceptives and safe sex, defaulting to the “Abstinence is King” philosophy. This led me to examine how the education I received about sex affected my relationships. When I was in eighth grade, my parents were given the option of letting me take an Abstinence-Based Health class or Abstinence until Marriage. Both of them focused on abstinence being the best method of preventing unintended pregnancies. The only difference was that when contraceptives were discussed in the Abstinence until Marriage… Read more »

Let’s Pledge to Make Roe Real

Written by Andrew Jenkins, URGE Field Associate In a few short days we’ll be celebrating a historic moment in the reproductive health and rights movement: the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade. As a young person, it can be hard to see what it is we’re actually celebrating though. Despite the misguided and pervasive notion that young people don’t get it, we’re facing some of the most strenuous, insurmountable obstacles to reproductive freedom this country has ever seen. For many young people today, Roe has very little meaning beyond its symbolic gesture. So how do we mark the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, when, in 2013, access to safe and affordable abortion is not a reality for so many people in… Read more »

All I Want for Christmas is YOU…th Comprehensive Sex Ed!

While everyone is busy jotting down the latest electronics on their Christmas Wish List, there’s something even better than the newest iPhone, tablet, or clothes from Urban Outfitters that I want for Christmas this year: comprehensive sex education. Now, you may think that teaching teens medically accurate, age appropriate sex education is a given in the 21st century. I mean, why would teachers lie to teens about safe sex and withhold life-saving information on how to become healthy adults and form healthy relationships? This Is America! We live in a country where no one would tell teens that “condoms cause cancer,” “birth control pills cause abortions,” “sex is worse for girls because they are much easier to infect and easier to damage,” “condoms have holes in them and a failure… Read more »

Let’s Talk About Talking About Sex

October has been deemed “Let’s Talk Month” in the hopes to encourage families to talk about a wide range of issues related to sexuality, like body image, healthy relationships, gender and sexual orientation, safe sex, using birth control…all that good stuff. At first I thought it was strange to them to choose the month October, especially given that Halloween has claimed it since the mid 16th century. Then I remembered how my mom was more scared to talk to me about sex growing up then I was of horror stories of monsters and ghosts and the supernatural. So now October makes perfect sense.

Obamacare, Sex Education and You

With headline after headline, news story after news story since its introduction in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) has been scrutinized, analyzed, loved, and hated by the American public. With the threat of defunding Obamacare hanging from the lips of politicians, there are a lot of issues to be concerned about, such as access to affordable healthcare. However, what worries me the most about defunding Obamacare is not about health insurance, but rather, sex education.

Navigating Masculinity on the Fence of the Gender Binary

I got up this morning and left my house, fully intending to get to the office and start working on a development plan for the new year. That’s what I should be doing right now. I should be working on a development plan. Instead I’m writing this thing. I’m writing this thing because sometimes, for my own sanity – to slow down my crazy swirling brain – I just have to write stuff down. And because this morning, as seems to increasingly be the case since I moved from the country into the big city, I crashed into myself yet again. I crashed into the reality that my perception of myself – my inherent knowledge of myself, really – doesn’t always match the way(s) I’m perceived externally. And once again… Read more »

Reproductive Justice Wears Cowgirl Boots

As I was finishing up my degree in Women’s Studies, I would often take my Feminist Theory book to my favorite country bar and study in between line dances.  People would come up and ask what (and why) I was studying at a bar. When they found out I was studying feminism, they seemed quite surprised that I was also a regular at the place. After all, country music and feminism don’t mix, right? Wrong. The misconception that country music is anti-feminist is exactly that, a misconception. In reality, a lot of country music supports the feminist movement. In 1975, Loretta Lynn wrote a song called ‘The Pill’ that is about why birth control is important. She was already a well-known and respected country star by this time, and came… Read more »

The Next Step for Young Immigrants

by Raquel Ortega, Choice USA Field Associate A little over a year ago the Obama Administration announced the introduction of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which grants young immigrants who came to the U.S. as children (among other criteria) the ability to live and work in the country legally for a renewable period of two years. This was one of, if not, the most important immigrants’ rights victory for the immigrant youth movement to date. As a Chicana (Mexican-American), I’ve been awarded many privileges in life that I took for granted most of my life: I had the ability to get a drivers license when I turned 16; I was able to go to a public university, pay in-state tuition and qualify for financial aid; and I’ve… Read more »

Consuming Bodies: The Women We’re Leaving Behind

India just banned the use/exploitation of dolphins as entertainment, as they are now considered “non-human persons”. Blackfish, a documentary about the psychological realities other animals face when confined in captivity, has just opened in theaters (at the distress of SeaWorld). Bird brain mapping has recently revealed that birds are “remarkably intelligent in a similar way to mammals such as humans and monkeys,” but ‘bird brain’ is still an insult. And the U.S. State Department and President Obama have decided to push ahead with building the Keystone XL Pipeline’s southern half amongst numerous questionable building practices, even though the previous Keystone I Pipeline has leaked fourteen different times. But isn’t this the Choice USA blog? What does this have to do with reproductive justice? Everything. Having grown up with cats my whole… Read more »