Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

Criminalizing Miscarraige

Miscarriage is an incredibly common phenomenon that we don’t talk enough about. A miscarriage is defined as the sudden loss of a fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy. It’s estimated that 10 to 25% of confirmed pregnancies end in a miscarriage.  Miscarriages have a variety of causes, such as chromosome problems with the fetus, drug use, exposure to toxins, and systemic diseases. It’s safe to say that miscarriages are something that most pregnant people will experience at some point in their lives. Yet we are seeing an increase in convictions against people who experience miscarriages. Brittney Poolaw, an indigenous Comanche woman from Oklahoma, was convicted in October 2021 and sentenced to serve four years in an Oklahoma state prison on manslaughter charges due to a miscarriage she had in… Read more »

What About the Families?

One of my professors used to always say “If they start asking ‘What about the children,’ you know they don’t care about the children.” We often see folks in power talk about how they care about families and children. But why not put their money where their mouth is? A recently published study called “Baby’s First Years” says that providing low-income gestational parents with no strings attached money for a year affected the brain activity of their children in ways that could lead to better development of their brains. The study gave random amounts of money to the gestational parents every month after giving birth. Researchers conducting the study found that the children of parents who had received larger amounts of money had better brain development than children whose parents… Read more »

America, You in Danger, Girl

There is no other way to put it: American democracy is on the brink of collapse. Last year began with an attack on the Capitol the likes of which haven’t been seen in over a century. Supporters of the former occupant of the White House flew Confederate and pro-security force flags while threatening to murder the former Vice President for not undemocratically overturning the results of the 2020 Presidential election. This occurred the day after the former Confederate state of Georgia saw record-breaking Black voter turnout, electing the state’s first Black and Jewish senators, respectively. Over the course of 2021, the United States saw an unprecedented number of anti-voting legislation passed. According to the Brennan Center, in 2021 alone, 19 states implemented 33 laws that make it harder to vote…. Read more »

There Was Never A Labor Shortage

There was never a labor shortage. The ongoing pandemic has brought about employee shortages in many fields, but none is more obvious than the consumer service industry. Retail businesses are filled with “Now Hiring” signs and hiring perks have grown to include industry standards, such as employee benefits, with more desperate employers including things like sign-on bonuses and iPhones. While businesses continue to say that they are struggling to hire, repeating the idea of a “labor shortage,” the reality is service industry jobs are exploitative employment that treat their employees as disposable. Service industry jobs center on consumer-driven experiences; a broad spectrum, these jobs include things like retail, finance, food, and dining, and hospitality and travel. Out of these industries, food and retail services jobs have had the highest rates… Read more »

OTC Birth control? Is it safe?

By: Ashaki Ngozi Nzinga Kandake Thompson-Hall The fight for over-the-counter (OTC) birth control continues in the U.S.  Accessible birth control is a reproductive justice imperative. OTC birth control affirms bodily autonomy and self-determination.   Misnomer #1: OTC BC is not safe  Birth Control can be very effective in the prevention of pregnancy.    Here’s the thing…Like any pharmaceutical drug, birth control may have side effects. It is important to consult a medical professional to ensure you are a fit candidate.  Over-the-counter options that may have side effects for some should not deter open and available options for all who are eligible. In an article published by the Journal of Adolescent Health in 2017, titled “Over-the-Counter Access to Oral Contraceptives for Adolescents”, researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that the pill can be purchased safely… Read more »

Birth Control Access During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Just How Well are Metro Atlanta Students Getting By? 

By: Sajada Parker Birth control access is a unique situation among college students. Many rely on part-time jobs without health insurance, many survive on a tight budget, and many remain unaware of online resources attempting to close the gap between birth control access and income barriers.   Take Amelia* for example. A sophomore living in the metro Atlanta area, her access to birth control was challenged as she transitioned back to her rural hometown. Amelia, who asked not to have her hometown or school identified due to its small size, struggled to find the funds to access her birth control. As Amelia joined the millions of college students sent home after the COVID-19 outbreak of spring semester 2021, her access to reproductive freedom was limited.  “After being sent home from college,… Read more »

Birth Control Crash Course

By: Soumya Jaiswal The uterus is the least understood and most politicized organ in the human body.  The explanation is quite predictable. Centuries of sexism and racism in medicine have manifested as little to no research being done on issues that have primarily affected women, especially women of color. In truth, the pill is prescribed for a slew of issues from acne to migraines to endometriosis to, of course, pregnancy prevention. According to Dr. Julia Lee, board-certified OB/GYN, the majority of doctors do not attempt diagnosing some uterine diseases because there is no treatment or plan of care in place that would differ from how the patient manages symptoms anyways — hormonal birth control.  Healthcare in this country is not cheap. The average cost of a doctor’s appointment without healthcare… Read more »

Why People Want Access to Birth Control

By: Hayley Alexis We all know that birth control should be available over the counter, but why is it important? Why do people want access to birth control without a prescription? I asked students and professors on a college campus what they thought, and these answers provide a clear answer. Everyone that I interviewed agreed that people should have equal access to healthcare, and students such as Elizabeth Morgan thought that birth control should be made “easily available to those who may not be able to schedule a doctor’s appointment to get a prescription.” Students that I interviewed also thought that access to birth control would help reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. One student that I interviewed cites her own personal experience with lack of birth control access: “I… Read more »

Under Lock & Key: It’s Time Remove Contraceptives From the Lock Box

By: Kirsten Hernandez Many of us, especially those from marginalized communities, are used to items being behind locked boxes at the store. A quick trip to the grocery was prolonged by the wait for a staff member to find the right key to the case. Anything from chip bags to White Claw to baking ingredients came with the incredibly unsubtle message of “unworthiness.” We’re considered unworthy, of nice things, of humanity, and of trust.   As my life and career take me to different neighborhoods with varying socio-economic conditions, I notice the degree to which things are locked up differs greatly. For some reason though, from the richest to the poorest neighborhoods, only one product stays consistently behind a plexiglass barrier: condoms.   There always seems to be a debate about lockboxes and cages… Read more »

Welcome to The Great Resignation: The US’ Newest Labor Movement

The social contract between employees and their employers is being rewritten right before our eyes. The social contract is the agreement between you and your employer about expectations around exertion, time, and labor. The pandemic has triggered a rippled effect that has changed the trajectory of a growing list of some of the most important aspects of our lives here in the United States. The workplace has been the target of a seismic shift in culture as workers from a plethora of industries call it a quits. In April of this year, the number of individuals quitting their jobs rose to a record-breaking 4 million people and continued to grow every month after that, starting the trend that has now been dubbed “The Great Resignation.” The freedom that remote work… Read more »