Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts By: Guest Blogger

Birth Control in My Community

By: Anna Beth Peters My personal experience with the birth control pill has been a roller coaster; I originally started taking the pill in high school to regulate my period. I have tried a few different options, and I have had incredibly varying results. I have struggled with mood changes, depression, hormonal acne breakouts, cramps, and difficulty getting my prescription from pharmacies. Despite all of the issues I have encountered with birth control, taking the pill greatly enhances my life by regulating my period and giving a sense of normalcy to my cycle. People take the pill for many different reasons; some take it for period regulation, some take it to lessen cramps, acne, or the chance of infection, and some people take it solely to prevent pregnancy. No matter… Read more »

What OTC Access to Oral Contraception Means to Women

By: Kaitlyn Germann To me, and to many young people, access to oral contraception is incredibly important. Although it can be accessed through a doctor’s appointment, in person,  online in some states, or even with a prescription from a pharmacist in some, it still remains something that isn’t accessible, as daily forms of oral contraception are not currently available over the counter without a prescription.  The only contraceptives accessible without a prescription, are labeled as “emergency contraceptives,” not made for regular use, and only, as the name implies, for emergencies when other contraceptive methods failed or were not used. Even with this, not all emergency contraceptives are available over the counter, such as Ella (ulipristal acetate), an emergency contraceptive which is both more effective overall, and specifically more effective for… Read more »

We all deserve control over our reproductive futures – Trish Hyde

Like many teenagers, in the throes of first love, I wanted to have sex. I was 16 and had been dating my boyfriend for about a year when we decided we just could not wait any longer. Actually, we *could* wait longer and I required that we did because I was incredibly paranoid about the possibility of becoming pregnant. I had done my research (okay, much of it on 2013 Tumblr, but still) and knew that two forms of contraceptives were recommended and that, should I choose to get on “the pill,” I would need to wait one month for it to become effective. So, a plan was hatched. I would talk to my mom, see the doctor, be on the pill for at least one month, and then we… Read more »

Wolves with a Time’s Up Pin

When Grace’s account of her evening with actor, stand up comedian, director, author, and, most importantly, proclaimed feminist, Aziz Ansari broke, hundreds of think pieces were soon posted all over the web. This particular story struck a chord because it’s familiarity resonated with so many people who never knew how to discuss or label experiences that went beyond “bad sex”. URGE’s student journalists Anna Khan and Ofelia Alonso did an incredible job detailing this encounter and explaining how our culture contributes to experiences such as Grace’s, and I encourage you to read their articles. This story in particular hit me the hardest, since Ansari is a public figure I had previously seen as one of the very few men in Hollywood that could be considered a “good guy”. He appeared… Read more »

Making Space for Healing Justice

This summer, URGE activists gathered in Cleveland, Ohio for the first ever Summer Camp. Activists from AL, GA, TX, KS, & OH came together, thanks to a coordinated field and DC staff who worked their magic to create an unforgettable experience. The goal behind Summer Camp was to provide time and space for activists to broaden their analysis of reproductive justice, learn how to incorporate this analysis, and learn creative avenues to utilize back on campus and within the community. Activists were able to build on skills new and familiar such as developing leadership, facilitation, direct action, and cultural organizing. For four days, we were joined by the incredible Harriet’s Apothecary, “a collective of Black cis women, Queer, Trans Healers, artists, health professionals, magicians, and activists” who teach radical healing… Read more »

We Need to Stop Sexualizing Breastfeeding

A few weeks ago on a sweltering, Kansas afternoon, a friend and I stopped by a sub shop near my house for lunch. The store was empty because the lunch crowd hadn’t made their way in yet. I had been to this establishment several times before because my partner loved their subs and needed no excuse to go there. We ordered, sat and I nursed my just woken up daughter who was a bit cranky. Our little nursing session ended a few minutes later, just as the manager brought us our food. As he put the food on the table he looked at me and said “would you like a towel? This is a family restaurant, You can’t just be out here like that. Either I can bring you a… Read more »

How Ohio’s Government is Funneling Money into Fake Clinics

On July 1 the state of Ohio’s fiscal year 2018 budget took effect, providing $1,000,000 in funding to crisis pregnancy centers. Crisis pregnancy centers, or CPCs, are notorious for counselling people against choosing abortion, despite the fact that it is a safe method of healthcare. By contrast, Ohio only contributes money to clinics and organizations that provide abortions in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. In all other cases, these clinics and the patients that seek their services are on their own. Most CPCs are run by Christian churches or organizations with the sole goal of steering people away from abortions. They are well known for distributing distorted or completely false information about a number of reproductive health issues, from abortion to condoms to… Read more »

Kansas’s New Concealed Carry Laws Don’t Belong On Our Campuses

Come July 1st, 2017, Kansas will become the first state that allows students to bring guns on campus without a permit. As a community psychologist and a doctoral student at Wichita State University, I have always held a unique perspective on campus carry; not like the negative rhetoric that you read about from the “alt-right perspective,” where gun safety advocates are perceived as “snowflakes.” You can’t imagine the backlash I have received about my nagging for “extra rights”; they would make anyone want to roll their eyes for an infinite amount of time. But the concerns of hundreds of students on Kansas campuses should not be taken lightly. July 1st will be the start of a new college experience — one where some students will be forced to have a… Read more »

Condoms Are Great. Prop 60 Is Not.

One of the measures on California’s massive ballot this election cycle is Proposition 60, an initiative that would mandate the use of condoms by performers in adult films. At first glance, the measure sounds great; condoms are an important harm reduction intervention within and outside of sex work and have been proven to reduce STI and HIV transmission. Prop. 60, however, would allow any California resident to sue producers of films that don’t visibly use condoms, something that a variety of prevalent players within sexual and reproductive healthcare systems don’t support including (and perhaps most especially) adult film actors themselves. The controversial president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Michael Weinstein proposed Prop. 60 as a measure to reduce transmission of STIs by putting into law the Safer Sex in… Read more »

This Intersex Awareness Day, Some Notes on the ‘I’ in LGBTQI

As the acronym that we come to understand as our community expands, so must our awareness of all it means. In recent years, an I has come to dangle from the end of LGBTQI. Most of us know that L is for Lesbian, G for Gay, B for Bisexual, T is for Transgender, and––depending on the weather––Q is for Queer or Questioning. Yet the ‘I’ that dangles at the end may confuse some; what does it stand for, anyway? Innovative? Impressive? Inspirational? While all of these are applicable, in this particular game of alphabet soup, ‘I’ is for Intersex. Intersex is a term used to describe folks who are born with genetic, hormonal, genital, or other sex characteristics that do not align with the stereotypical definitions of male or female… Read more »