Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Categorized: Amanda

Kansas Opens Its Doors For Women’s Health

It is with great pleasure that I am able to write about the recent opening of a full service* women’s health clinic including: STI Testing & Treatment, Contraception, Plan B, Well-Woman Exams, Medical & Surgical Abortion, Pregnancy Confirmation, Abortion Counseling, and much more in my hometown of Wichita, Kansas. The South Wind Women’s Center LLC opened nearly four years after the hate-driven murder of Dr. George Tiller, a hero and champion of all women. Julie Burkhart, director of Trust Women and former colleague of Dr. Tiller, saw this huge gap in health care services for hundreds of thousands of Kansas women and did something about it. Knowing the centrally conservative nature of my city, I can only imagine how difficult and intimidating it would be to reopen this clinic in… Read more »

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

I’d like to spend my last few posts recognizing some of the greatest influences that inspires me to be an advocate for social justice. I’d like to take this opportunity to shed light on someone near and dear to so many men and women of my community – Jana Mackey. This one carries a trigger and a tissue warning. Jana Mackey was a graduate of my school, The University of Kansas, with a degree in Women’s Studies and went on to attend the School of Law. She was a robust advocate for women’s rights and volunteered much of her time to working with sexual assault and domestic violence centers here in Lawrence. She was a member of the Commission on the Status of Women, which I currently have the opportunity… Read more »

Lo Que Los Fanáticos Religiosos Se Esconden

“that which the religious zealots are hiding” So I’m a little bummed today. The legislation in Kansas we’ve been fighting against was passed in both the House and Senate. It waits to receive its guaranteed signature from Governor Sam Brownback, who has continually proven to support harmful legislation that further endangers and marginalizes women. This recent development proves that Kansas does not have women’s best interest in mind. We did not lose without fighting. Senator David Haley, D-Kansas City, was a champion for us during the hearing. He stood up to dangerous wording and implications of the new laws. He went as far as to say that Republicans promote “narrow Taliban-like philosophies on our state’s persons.” I can’t say I disagree. Please can someone PLEASE tell me how it’s helpful… Read more »

How to Get an Abortion

Let’s imagine five years from now we lose the rest of what remains of our civil liberties and all abortions are outlawed. Obviously just because it is illegal, does not make it unwanted. So what’s a girl to do when she experiences an unplanned pregnancy? Well don’t worry; I’ve compiled a list of options compiled by our all-knowing internet. Please note this is purely satirical and under no circumstances do I suggest attempting any of these procedures. In high school I often heard girls in the bathroom talking about high amounts Vitamin C to have a “natural” abortion. This highly trusted blog says that “the vitamin C works to produce an unfavorable climate within the uterus so that the egg does not implant, or cannot maintain its grip on the… Read more »

No More Shame

I’m going to let you in on a little secret of mine. I. Love. Sex. (OK if you know me well, this really is no secret) I love sex with boyfriends, with lovers, and even with those who are just for a night. I love that I decide to have sex when, where, and how I want. If I don’t want to have sex, I don’t have sex. So, we stand up for birth control, access to safe abortions, and we take a stand against sexual assault. But who is standing up for our right to get laid (or perhaps make love if you prefer)? I’m standing up for myself to get laid. I am standing up for my friends to bump uglies. For my parents to do the hanky… Read more »

Are we ready?

The headline read: “Surrogate offered $10,000 to abort baby” Let me begin by saying that I really don’t have an answer for this. With this situation there is no moral or ethical high ground to stand on. But this story leaves us with a lot of questions that we must begin to ask ourselves with this new age of medicine upon us. If you haven’t read this story, stop now and read it. I will recap it just in case. A couple pays a surrogate $22,000 to carry their child. Their contract stipulates that in the case of extreme defects, the surrogate will terminate the pregnancy. Indeed, the fetus began to develop many life-threatening problems. Couple asks that the surrogate mom have mercy on the fetus and to not continue… Read more »

Kansas Activists Are Not Giving Up

For the second time in one month, Kansas activists descended upon the state capitol to ensure that all of our voices are being heard. On February 4th, with the help of Choice USA, we raised our concerns to legislators concerning the impending catch-all abortion bill. Soon after the bill was officially introduced as HB2253 and named: AN ACT concerning abortion; relating to the funding of abortion services; relating to restrictions on late-term abortions; relating to the woman’s right-to-know act.   Of course we couldn’t stop there. Organized by Kansas NOW, a group of more than 40 pink wearing advocates from Wichita, El Dorado, Manhattan, Lawrence, Kansas City and Topeka packed the statehouse to bear testimony in front of the committee. I personally was unable to attend but I did give… Read more »

Philosophies of the Womb

Do we base our politics on our philosophy, or are our philosophies based on our politics? This is a question that I will begin to explore this semester in my Ethics of Dying course that I’m taking at the University. I find myself continually thinking about politics without really understanding the meaning of why I hold these personal beliefs, too often I think. What does it really mean to be progressive of thought, pro-choice, and accepting of unique identities? How do our experiences of self shape the way we think about others? Being prompted to really examine my belief system is mostly distressing at the beginning stages, but for me that stems from the desire to justify my feelings, which in the world of philosophy, isn’t completely necessary. For further… Read more »

Heart Beats in the Heartland

This past Monday I had the opportunity, along with 25 other students across Kansas, to express my concerns regarding a piece of legislature that has been introduced once again concerning abortion restrictions. – HOUSE BILL No. 2253, Introduced by the Committee on Federal and State Affairs. After having lobbying trainings the day before, we set out to Topeka with one mission: to defeat this bill before it even gets introduced. Knowing this highly unlikely, we came equipped with confidence and personal anecdotes. Each group according to geographic location was divided into smaller groups to meet with their representatives. Some of these meetings were scheduled and some we just dropped in. From a few of their reactions they didn’t know what hit them when 10 of us walked through the door… Read more »

Creating Change in HOTlanta

Attending the 25th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change was incredible. Thousands of queers and allies from across the country and a handful from abroad gathered in my city, Atlanta, from January 23 -27. The annual conference, run by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, offered over 350 workshops and training sessions, as well as endless networking opportunities. I was pleased (and surprised, honestly) to see such a strong presence of LGBT youth of color – it made me quite proud. It seems like the sessions were hit or miss for some, but I didn’t attend a single session that I wouldn’t have written home about – if I wasn’t already home. Two of my favorites include “Queering Hip Hop: Using the Social Message of Rap’s Storytelling to… Read more »