Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Categorized: Choice USA Staff

Campus Diversity is Indispensable

Tomorrow the United States Supreme Court will hear Fisher v. University of Texas, a case that could have the effect of banning all race conscious admissions in higher education. If the court rules in that manner, it would be to the detriment to every student in college and all those who aspire to a higher education. Just like Title IX, race conscious admissions opens avenues of opportunities for those who may not have had access otherwise. Equal opportunity for education makes college possible for more students and benefits the entire student body by increasing campus diversity. Encouraging diversity brings new perspectives and worldviews to the educational experience – whether in terms of geography, in areas of study, gender or race – and that will always add value to the classroom… Read more »

Putting the Sex Back in Birth Control: Why the Dominant Narrative on Contraception Undermines Young People

Originally posted on RH Reality Check While I applaud Elizabeth Banks for her new ad supporting Planned Parenthood, birth control, and President Barack Obama–and wholeheartedly empathize with her personal story–I’m reminded of a sobering fact: the progressive community is deathly afraid of talking about sex and young people. That’s right. I said it. Between Banks new web promo aimed at female voters, Sandra Fluke’s testimony before Congress last February, and the reactive messaging around Rush Limbaugh’s vile comments, one thing has remained clear: our movement is far more comfortable elevating stories about birth control when they don’t involve sex. Pure unadulterated sex. Sex without the fear of an unintended pregnancy. You know… the primary reason young Americans use birth control. And for arguments sake, maybe there’s a good reason for this. Maybe–just maaaayyyybe–we’re trying to appeal… Read more »

Mi Familia Poderosa: How Sex Education Changed my Family

My story is a common one. I was raised by Catholic, Mexican parents in southern Arizona which meant I observed strict traditional gender roles in the house. It also meant that sex was something we just didn’t talk about. In fact, the only time I ever remember my parents talking about sex was when they told me and my siblings that they had been virgins when they got married. The only sex education I received was either from the abstinence-only curriculum I received for two weeks in high school or from Catholic School at my church. I was first introduced to the reproductive justice movement when I entered college and it changed my life forever. I know that’s a dramatic thing to say but I can honestly trace everything I’ve accomplished today… Read more »


I recently attended a screening of the documentary Bully— a film that tells the story of five young people and families who have been impacted by bullying. I decided to see “Bully” because of the abuse I experienced growing up, which eventually led me to work within the reproductive justice movement. I’ve seen for most of my life how violence, whether it is physical, emotional, or verbal, can have a profound impact on quality of life. Due to the nature of bullying and the power dynamics involved, victims are often limited in the decisions they can make regarding their own bodies. “Bully” does a great job illustrating these points and lends itself to a larger conversation about how bodies that are “different” are policed and controlled in society today.

Some Thoughts Looking Back, and Looking Forward, on the Murder of Trayvon Martin

Like so many others, we at Choice USA have been shocked and saddened by the murder of Trayvon Martin. The loss of such a young life is tragic, and the pain of that loss doesn’t dim now that the pursuit of justice has been put in motion. We at Choice USA believe ensuring the safety and bodily autonomy of all people is paramount in creating a more just society. This includes the right to live without fear of being profiled, controlled, targeted, attacked, or killed. But that’s not always how it works. We want to live in a culture and society where all bodies are valued and that the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are truly inalienable. So when the media narrative around this case fell into… Read more »

In Honor of the 39th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade: Doubling Down on Our Investment in Young People

As we commemorate the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and honor the legacy of the reproductive rights advocates that came before us, we must remain vigilant in our struggle for social justice. While Roe v. Wade played an important role in shaping reproductive health and rights in this country, the battle is far from over. Young people know this very well. We understand that in order for us to truly win reproductive justice for all, we have to look at the entire picture. The legal right to an abortion loses its value when state and local barriers prevent young people, communities of color, LGBT people, and low-income families from accessing basic health care services. Age-restrictions on emergency contraception. Parental notification and consent laws. Mandatory waiting periods. Personhood initiatives.