ChoiceWords Blog

Posts By: Samantha

It’s Raining Bibles but where are the Contraceptives?

Just recently in Orange County, Fla., the dear old county where I’ve resided since entering college, a group of individuals from World Changers of Florida was allowed the ability to “passively” provide bibles in schools. Passive distribution in this situation means that the World Changers cannot speak with students about them but have them available to anyone who asks. This struck a deep cord because providing the option to have Bibles in high schools is vital, but individuals in the upper echelons of the school system don’t find the importance or urgency in providing the same or similar access to contraceptives. Orange County is an abstinence-only until marriage county and receives Title V as well as Community Based Abstinence Education funding. This approach to sexual education leaves students to go on wild goose… Read more »

Roe v. Wade: to 40 years, Infinity, and Beyond!

Next Week is the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion inUnited States Over the past 40 years we have seen opponents make numerous attempts to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision and to outlaw public funding for abortion care entirely, but recently, these efforts have become way too extreme. Government funding for abortions has been illegal since the Hyde Amendment passed in 1976, but it’s so much more than that. If public funding was outlawed, no woman could use her private insurance to cover an abortion. In a society with the internet and technology more present and user friendly– and therefore influential–than ever before, we’ve seen more and more women and girls taking matters into their own hands; risking their lives because they… Read more »

The New Year Brings New Possibilities and New Attacks on Reproductive Justice

It’s 2013 and anti-choice policymakers are at it again. 2012 was a time of great achievements in defeating bills that tried to take the control of women’s health out of their own hands. No on 6  specifically was the Amendment we in Florida fought hard and defeated; but with the New Year comes new attacks on women and specifically their access to necessary medical procedures. What seems to be the new technique for far-right ideology is attacking building specifications. These rules however only target facilities that offer abortion and other reproductive health services. The scope of work that would need to be completed to follow the new laws would end up being so expensive and laws could change so frequently that facilities wouldn’t be able to afford or keep up… Read more »

Emergency Contraception Should Be Accessible to All!

Another day, another trip to the pharmacy to get my prescriptions; when I enter there is a flurry of movement and excitement. Here birth control and emergency contraception or EC are just prescriptions easily obtained if necessary. But for young women all over the country, emergency contraception is a necessary medication, and many women don’t currently have access to it. The history of hormonal pills dates back as early as the 1920’s when using estrogen hormones was experimented on animals to control their procreation. This medicine wasn’t applied to humans until the 1960’s. These initial studies led to the creation of what we now know as birth control pills, and these are available in so many varieties there is virtually something for everyone. Morning after pills were being tested as… Read more »

Environmental Justice and Reproductive Justice: What’s the Connection?

Last Friday, I had the opportunity of attending the One Voice Summit hosted by Advocates for Youth, SIECUS , and the Sierra Club. The panels and the multitude of discussions tied reproductive and environmental justice together in very intricate ways. One of the topics that I believe was especially interesting and relevant was about toxins in the environment panel. It tied products young people use every day and the harmful toxins that may be in them. What made me initially want to write about this is because toxic substances are in everything around us from our chap sticks, to our lotions, our perfumes, and even the receipts we get any time we shop. Seeing the connection with this made me really uncomfortable because I felt overwhelming dread that I really couldn’t escape… Read more »

Women of Color and Reality TV: the Bad, the Worse, and the Downright Offensive

This post is part of a series about reproductive justice and the media done in partnership with Women, Action, & the Media. Being a woman of color, specifically an African American woman of Caribbean decent, I grew up with little to representations of myself in the media. But looking back the 90’s were really a golden age of television shows with women of color. Shows like Living Single, Moesha, and Family Matters were shows that really shaped my childhood. But when the 90’s ended those representations slowly but surely faded away. By the time I hit high school what began to really take charge of television networks was something I consider absolutely evil…reality TV. Fast forward to the here and now, 2012, where reality TV is no longer the no holds… Read more »

Public Service Announcement — Abstinence-Only Programs Hurt our Young People

The Presidential election is finally over and now that we know we have four more years with President Obama, we need to look at our youth and address an issue that is ever present, and is becoming more alarming every day. The prevalence of Abstinence-only programs that is crippling our young people. I reside on the border of Orange and Seminole Counties in Orlando Florida, an area where being conservative is the norm. I can’t help but think about all the youth in my area that need comprehensive sex education information are being shafted. In this county discussing sex is taboo and many students don’t even bother to ask if they do have questions because they will just be chastised and shunned. I know the critics will say if you… Read more »

Reproductive Justice and the Workplace, is it under attack here too?

Currently we live in a country where many women choose to take on the role of mother and worker, but what is still baffling to me and increasingly alarming is that the United States is still one of the only developed countries that don’t provide universal maternity leave to its citizens. Maternity leave is instead provided by employers, but the qualifications are vast and many women are punished for utilizing this necessary time to bond and care for their new born babies. I think there are a lot of fucked up things going on in this country but this is definitely high up on my list of fucked up bullshit. Women are the creators of life and politicians always seem to want to control women’s bodies and their access to… Read more »

No on Amendment 6 is the Right Move for Florida

As a young woman of color residing in Florida I’m very interested in and affected by the anti- choice antics in Tallahassee. When I heard about Amendment 6, I just had to tell the world about the next attack on reproductive rights. This attempt directly affects me as a young black woman, I’m constantly facing stereotypes and attacks on my rights, and this I will not accept. I will not allow politicians to infringe upon my rights, and I will do everything in my power to keep politicians out of my doctor’s office! Amendment measure 6 would change the Florida constitution to outlaw public funding for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or directly affecting the life of the mother. In essence, this amendment would bring politicians out of… Read more »

Issa Rae and Awkward Black Girl making the world stand up and LISTEN!

Issa Rae is a talented director, producer, and actor has taken the internet and the web series realm by storm with her show The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl. This show captures some of the day to day antics of Jay, a young black woman navigating through the spaces of work, love, and the madness of life coupled with awkward and hilarious flashbacks of Jay’s childhood. Issa shows a refreshingly real look and tends to tackle issues that many feel are too taboo and controversial. This show makes fun of stereotypes that women of color are often labeled with and every other culture as well. No one is safe. The language is raw and unedited, but I feel that this adds to the relatability of the show and the connection… Read more »