Em-URGE-ing Voices

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Poll Finds Wide Support from Young People for Reproductive Justice Policies In early 2024, URGE commissioned HIT Strategies to conduct a national poll of young adults aged 18-30 years old to understand young people’s domestic policy priorities, particularly where they stand on Reproductive Justice issues and civic engagement. Key policy findings include: The following memo outlines more detailed policy findings from the poll. Download as a PDF Methodology: These findings are from a proprietary survey conducted by HIT Strategies on behalf of URGE. This survey consisted of 1000 registered voters nationally, with 4 National Oversamples: Online n100 AAPI, Online n100 Black, Online n100 Latinx, Online n100 LGBTQ, and 6 State-Based Oversamples: Online/Phone/TTW n300 AL, Online n250 CA, Online/Phone/TTW n300 GA, Online/Phone/TTW n300 KS, Online/Phone/TTW n300 OH, Online/Phone/TTW n250 TX. The survey… Read more »

Across Time and Space: The ‘Lesbian Continuum’ and The Color Purple

Trigger warning: sexual assault, homophobia, gender-based violence, child abuse My favorite part of being a Comparative Women’s Studies major has been discovering the intersections between my lived experience and  academic scholarship. Learning new language to describe my lived experience has me often exclaiming, “so this is the term that describes what I have been experiencing!” Having the opportunity to simultaneously learn about myself and interrogate gender theoretically has been liberating.There is one term in particular that has stuck with me, what scholar Adrienne Rich terms the “lesbian continuum.”  Rich introduces the term in her 1980 essay “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” as an affront to “compulsory heterosexuality,” or the ways that heterosexuality is mandated in patriarchal societies. This leads many women to believe they are or ought to be attracted… Read more »

History may be a study of the past, but its importance lies in the present.

February is Black History Month, which means many people, organizations, and companies are highlighting Black voices and telling their stories. Depending on your perspective, this can manifest in different ways. For many people, this means taking a step back and amplifying Black perspectives or highlighting their stories. Classrooms, workplaces, and even businesses are spending extra time to, at the very least, acknowledge the impact of Black people in American history. As someone that is not Black, I can’t speak for their experiences, but I do know that expanding the space available for marginalized communities is a much overdue task but can have varying levels of success. For nearly the past 50 years, the United States has celebrated the contributions, stories, and resilience of Black people within our history. Highlighting the… Read more »

We Need To Give the “Bootstraps” Narrative the Boot

Since September 2023, I have been juggling three part-time jobs. I took on these responsibilities because I didn’t have another choice. After spending a year and a half churning out hundreds of job applications and preparing for hours of interviews, not getting any offers left me exasperated. I knew I had to earn income in some way while still searching for the right full-time job for me. I now make enough money to afford health insurance, a car note, and to maintain a savings account. However, if I wasn’t living with family, I would be living paycheck to paycheck at best.  While I may not struggle to make ends meet, many Americans do. A press release from the Lending Club confirms that Americans from all tax brackets are increasingly living… Read more »

Weathering the Storm: Mutual Aid Amidst the Emerging Climate Crisis

In the early morning of January 8th, my mom warned me to be careful coming home from work that night. There was an 80% chance of severe thunderstorms and winds were expected to kick up to 25 MPH by the time my shift ended. Just over five minutes after I clocked in, I overheard my co-workers discussing how schools shut down in surrounding towns. I thought to myself that it must be serious, so work wouldn’t be too bad since people would be bunkering down at home. Eight hours later, it looked like the storm had literally and figuratively reached its hands through our back entrances and blew through our backroom as workers rushed to prepare over fifty last-minute orders for delivery and curbside pick-up. Everyone was yelling, everyone was… Read more »

We’ve still got a dog in the fight

In the fight for reproductive justice, don’t be so quick to dismiss the South. I was born and raised in the South. My memories are filled with mocking and berating of our culture and upbringing, contempt poorly disguised as curiosity, jokes made at our expense constantly. The South looms large in the general public’s mind as racist, misogynistic, and homophobic, and to some—rightfully so given its history and role in racial violence. For America,  the South exists as an unsalvageable cesspit filled with illiterate and poor ne’er do wells who ruin the reputation of the United States; to many, the South is firmly lodged in its horrific past and has no place in America’s “progressive” future. We’re backwoods, backwards people who don’t know any better and prefer to shoot ourselves… Read more »

How Roe’s Non-Anniversary Looms Large Over the 2024 Election

Today has become known as the second Roe ‘nonanniversary’, commemorating the 2022 overturning of the landmark Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion on the federal level. However, in 2019, three years before Roe was even overturned, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the right to an abortion was to be enshrined in its constitution. Any anti-abortion laws would face serious obstacles, and federal rulings on abortion would not affect freedoms at a state level. The case, Hodes and Nasar v. Kansas, temporarily settled a contentious battle that Kansas had been fighting for decades.  Following the fall of Roe, legislators in other states were fervently pushing through restrictions and bans – many states even had trigger laws which would effectively ban abortions in most situations as soon as… Read more »

Transgender and Nonbinary People Deserve a Voice in the Fight for Reproductive Justice Too

  Since the federal right to abortion care was overturned in June 2022, conversations surrounding abortion care have primarily focused on the reversal as a ‘women’s issue.’ It is commonly misunderstood that cisheterosexual women are the only ones who seek abortion when, in fact, as many as 16% of people having abortions in the US do not identify as heterosexual women. In fact, access to abortion care is a small part of reproductive justice; according to SisterSong, reproductive justice refers to the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have free from violence and discrimination. Just like cisgender individuals, transgender and nonbinary individuals can also become pregnant, use birth control, have abortions, carry pregnancies, and become parents. Therefore, at their… Read more »

At the Intersection of Fatness & Reproductive Justice

I am fat and I have been fat for a very long time. According to some people, the word “fat” is the very worst thing we could be. I admit, sometimes I have thought that, too. In an extremely fatphobic society, who would want to submit themselves to additional marginalization? I am fat, but sometimes I don’t want to be called fat, because to be called fat feels as if I’m accepting the very real negative outcomes that infiltrate nearly every aspect of our society.  We often think about “fat” only in terms of appearance, relationships, sex, or food. We have ideas about who is fat and why they are fat. We question what they could, should, and would do about not being fat if they really tried, if they… Read more »

#RJ Wrapped

The Reproductive Justice movement has faced a lot of challenges this year, but has also witnessed several wins. Here’s what our #ReproductiveJusticeWrapped “sounds” like in 2023: With everything going on in the world, it can be difficult to remember to celebrate our victories. The overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022 resulted in several major setbacks for reproductive rights in the United States, and was discouraging for folks who have been part of the fight for bodily autonomy for decades.  Nonetheless, it also served as a catalyst for activists, politicians, community organizers, and social justice initiatives all over the country in the larger reproductive justice movement. In 2023 alone we have witnessed history with the first over-the-counter contraceptive pill made available without a prescription or age limit, legislation for insurance… Read more »