ChoiceWords Blog

Posts By: Guest Blogger

Some Guys Burn Their Bras Too!: A Trans* Guy’s Experiences with Privilege, Violence, and Sexual Assault

This post is part of a series celebrating Choice USA’s Bro-Choice Week of Action. For more information, please visit our website and take the Bro-Choice pledge.  **Trigger Warning – this post includes violence, sexual assault, and explicit language** Picture this: A bony, almond-eyed, lanky tomboy with a terrible haircut is playing kickball outside of her house when an unrecognizable car comes driving slowly down the street. Annoyed that she has to put her game on pause the tomboy walks to the side of the road waiting for the car to pass, except it doesn‘t, it pulls up right next to her. The man driving the car is going on and on about his lost dog. The little girl apologizes because she hasn‘t seen any dogs wandering around her neighborhood. Before the man drives… Read more »

A Woman’s Issue, RIP.

This post is part of a series celebrating Choice USA’s Bro-Choice Week of Action. For more information, please visit our website and take the Bro-Choice pledge.  My name is Travis Ballie and I am writing to announce the death of the “woman’s issue.” It died June 4, 1988, when an asthmatic brown boy was born into an opinionated and ambitious immigrant enclave of women. It died when that brown boy’s mother, grandmother, and aunt pooled their funds, love, and wisdom to raise him to never feel foreign in this new land of America. It died when that boy walked across the stage as the first member of his family to graduate college, the women in his life being too busy raising him to ever consider the option for themselves. That… Read more »

Rapists: You Don’t Get To Stay Anonymous

By Callie Otto, Choice USA intern  Her name was Rehtaeh Parsons. She was a survivor of rape who was shamed, harassed, and denied justice. She went to the authorities, but they wouldn’t bring charges against her rapists. The police said it was a matter of “he said, she said.” Two years later, Rehtaeh committed suicide. Anonymous, the same hacktivist group that blew the whistle on the Steubenville rape crew, is once again taking things into their own hands. And I approve. The official statement from Anonymous says, “Our demands are simple: We want the N.S. RCMP to take immediate legal action against the individuals in question…We do not approve of vigilante justice as the media claims. That would mean we approve of violent actions against these rapists at the hands… Read more »

Write for ChoiceWords!

Do you want to write about reproductive justice and get PAID for doing it? Choice USA is looking for student journalists for the 2013-2014 school year! As a part of the program you will write for ChoiceWords, travel to Washington DC for training, and attend a national conference as a representative of Choice USA. The program also comes with a $500 stipend per semester. Eligible applicants must be enrolled in a college or university in the following states: California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Ohio, or Texas. Applications due April 19th, 2013! Apply here: http://bit.ly/YTo9IA

On Privacy and Reproductive Health: California’s Confidential Health Information Act

Elizabeth McElvein is a member of the Choice USA chapter at Scripps College The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires health plans and insurers to offer coverage to dependent children up to age 26. While the expansion of health care coverage is a momentous step forward, the ACA leaves matters of patient privacy relatively ambiguous; consequently, it is up to state lawmakers to mediate the conflict between maintaining appropriate health plan and insurer communication and protecting patient confidentiality. This tension is of concrete significance to women and young people for whom patient confidentiality translates into freedom to pursue sexual and reproductive health care services. Imagine a high school senior sitting by herself in a doctor’s waiting room. She contemplates telling her doctor that she is sexually active and dreads the… Read more »

Expanding Access to Abortion in California Could Be a Model for the Country

By Katherine Sheldon, Co-Vice President of Choice USA at Sacramento State Let us start by taking a moment on behalf of uteruses everywhere to give thanks to Roe v. Wade for allowing us to do what we want, when we want, with our bodies. Forty years after becoming law, there are still people fighting to take our rights to our own bodies away from us. Over the last two years, 135 laws have been passed across the nation restricting abortion access. This is not only physically dangerous for women, but it shows them that the government doesn’t take their health seriously. AB 154 is a bill that will allow more medical professionals, including nurses and midwives, the ability to perform first-trimester abortions. Allowing these professionals to perform abortions increases the… Read more »

Save the Date: 2013 Generation 2 Generation Celebration & Awards

  Join us on July 19, 2013 for the Generation 2 Generation Celebration & Awards in Washington, DC! This is the event to attend if you want to be inspired by young reproductive justice advocates and their mentors. The last year has seen a lot of attacks on reproductive freedom, but it’s also been a year of victories rooted in the passion and commitment of young people working for justice. If that’s not a reason to celebrate, then what is? Tickets go on sale April 1st! Stay tuned for more details!

Abortion Stigma is Global

By Leila Hessini, Director of Community Mobilization & Youth Leadership at Ipas Abortions have existed since time immemorial and are one of the most common and safest medical procedures. But the stigma that often surrounds abortion and anyone associated with it—women, providers, pharmacists and advocates—contributes to abortion’s social, medical and legal marginalization. At Ipas, we know that stigmatizing abortion is inherently harmful to women’s health — preventing them from getting the care they deserve. When abortion is inaccessible either legally, financially or physically, women are more likely to delay receiving care, suffer from trying to pull together the resources needed or turn to unsafe methods of pregnancy termination. Abortion stigma plays out on so many levels. Women who need abortions face stigma and may even perpetuate it, as do providers of abortion… Read more »

The Problem With Grey Rape

Written by Danielle Paradis and cross-posted with permission from Fem2pt0. Recently, in an article for the Good Men Project , I referred to “grey rape” a term popularized by Cosmopolitan in a 2007 article titled “The New Kind of Date Rape.” I continue to place scare quotes around the term because while it does the work of communicating the issue that I am trying to talk about, it is also a term that can lead to victim-blaming—and that is not something I ever want to do. “Grey rape” implies that rape occurs on a spectrum. In order to discuss the problematic issue of rape being on a sliding scale, some key terms and ideas need to be identified and expanded upon. This idea of ‘grey rape’ is surrounded by context…. Read more »

Even at the Catholic University of America, We Need Birth Control

By Callie Otto, Catholic University Students for Choice co-founder & Choice USA intern As a reproductive justice advocate at one of the most conservative colleges in the country (that is The Catholic University of America) the last few years have been nothing short of challenging. Figuring out how to get around the no condoms policy, being slut-shamed by a doctor at my campus health center, getting my favorite professor in deep shit for allowing me to talk about my pro-choice views in class, volunteering as a clinic escort at the same clinic my some of my peers sit and pray outside of — yes, I’d say it has been a challenge. These challenges have made me bitter. Bitter about the fact that I’m consistently denied my right to do or… Read more »