Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Categorized: Health and Wellness

Health & Wellness

With the way that sexual and reproductive healthcare is constantly politicized and attacked, it can be hard to remember that it is, in fact, healthcare. But spend a little time with URGE and you’ll be reminded that we all have sexual and reproductive health needs and we all deserve that access to care. For each of us, health and wellness looks different. It may mean the opportunity to get inclusive, comprehensive sex education in high school. It might be having transition related medical services covered by insurance for transgender people. For people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, it involves culturally competent and judgement free medical information from healthcare providers. For URGE chapters, the way they advocate for the health and wellness of all is just as diverse. In… Read more »

CSULB Works to Change Their Sexual Health Services

In evaluating the services in the campus health center, they found major gaps in resources for LGBTQ students. Chapter members worked with the center to get cultural competency training for health center staff.

Fake Health Centers (aka “Crisis Pregnancy Centers”)

Fake health centers deceive people into thinking they are getting comprehensive healthcare, including abortion services. In reality, these centers only give biased and medically inaccurate information to coerce, judge, and shame young people seeking abortion services.

The Real Education for Healthy Youth Act

Introduced by Representative Barbara Lee from California as a more inclusive form of sex education for public schools and institutions of higher learning, the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act (or REHYA) ensures that people receive LGBTQ-inclusive, evidence-based, and medically accurate information in school health programs.

Abortion Shouldn’t Be Rare and It Isn’t

From the most recent data available from the Guttmacher Institute and the American Journal of Public Health, approximately 1 in 4 women will have had at least one abortion by the age of 45. While this statistic does not include research around trans men and non-binary people that obtain abortions, it still goes to show that this is a very common procedure; but people do not choose to talk about it that way. I’ve seen protesters outside of clinics with signs that say “women regret abortion” and “men regret lost fatherhood”, and other anti-abortion phrases. In my early exposure to organizing around and for abortion rights, I found that many people I worked with, and even myself, would say things like, “No one wants to get an abortion…it is such… Read more »

A Reflection On The Midterm Elections

The midterm elections were a tough time for anyone invested in seeing progress for reproductive rights. While most were focused on candidates, wins in the House of Representatives and the Senate, many narrowly missed reproductive rights amendments that passed that set states back years in regards to protecting the safety of those seeking effective reproductive rights legislation. Alabama and West Virginia both rolled back the rights of so many on November 6th. West Virginia’s Amendment 1, which blatantly states that “Nothing in this constitution secures or protects a right to an abortion or requires the funding of an abortion,” will roll back any and all state funding to abortion providers in the state in the future. Alabama’s Amendment 2 goes one step further by saying explicitly to “declare and otherwise… Read more »

It Was Never A Secret

Victoria’s Secret chief marketing officer Ed Razek has come under fire after an interview with Vogue where he insinuated that trans and plus-size models are not attractive enough to be a part of the “fantasy” of their brand. The brand has been met with criticism since his comments, and #boycottvictoriassecret was a trending topic on Twitter. But let’s be honest: even if you haven’t seen what the models look like in the annual fashion show, anyone with a passing familiarity with Victoria’s Secret knows the brand always has been a blatant catering to the white male gaze. Look back at the “Perfect Body” campaign from 2014 that showcased only one type of body. Or the many extreme uses of PhotoShop. Not to mention the many instances of cultural appropriation over… Read more »

Are You Doing Your Work? Understanding the True Meaning of Reproductive Justice

Today’s feminists have a tendency to throw around words like “intersectionality,” but rarely seem to understand the complexities of its implications. We give lip service to women of color by calling ourselves “intersectional feminists” when in reality, we misunderstand the larger context of the discussion. In this same vein, we equate work regarding reproductive rights to working in a framework of reproductive justice. Both are, in their own way, valuable– but they are not synonyms. Reproductive rights refers to the distinct fight for liberty regarding reproductive health, usually framed as “choice”: access to reproductive health care, including abortion and a right to safe and freely practiced sexuality. The movement is commonly associated with abortion access, and thus, grouped in with second-wave feminism. Our narrative of second-wave feminism is distinctly white… Read more »

A Look At The Wins: Shackling in Prisons

I grew up in Charlotte, NC in a neighborhood called Greirtown, known in the early 2000’s as one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Charlotte. To this day, it is the only place I’ve felt safe. Neighborhoods made to subjugate and disenfranchise black folks become safe havens for a community. Griertown taught me a lot about prison and how it was a carcel system meant to kill black folks. My mother taught me that I needed to be in constant fear of being incarcerated. What I am unlearning daily is just how dehumanizing prison and jails are and the way that the structural systems they are predicated upon are made to hurt the most marginalized. In this fight for justice, it can be hard to see through the smoke, most… Read more »