ChoiceWords Blog

EACH Act Would Improve the Lives of Countless Young People 

On March 25, a coalition of United States senators and representatives introduced the Equitable Access to Care and Health (EACH) Act. If passed, the bill would restore abortion coverage for low-income people across the country, prevent politicians from interfering with or denying abortion coverage in insurance markets, and would undermine the Hyde Amendment, which bans abortion coverage in public insurance plans.    Statement from Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director, URGE:  “It’s time for the racist Hyde Amendment — and all its tentacles in public policy — to end. It’s time for real abortion access in this country, including for the low-income people who’ve been sold a fiction of legal abortion without real access for longer than I’ve been alive. For decades, politicians have used the Hyde Amendment to deny millions of women, trans, and nonbinary people the abortion care they need, and this injustice has fallen hardest on young people, Black and brown folks, and those struggling to make ends meet. URGE is thrilled to support this bold legislation that would lift the abortion coverage bans that… Read more »

URGE Condemns Racist Attacks on Asian-American Women

(Atlanta, GA) — Statement by Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity on the rise in violence targeting Asian-American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), specifically AAPI women, in the United States:    “This week we are mourning the loss of 8 lives, including 6 Asian-American women, in Georgia. We also honor the innumerable and often unnamed AAPI community members who have experienced hatred, discrimination, and violence over the last year and throughout our nation’s history. We join in expressing solidarity, rage, and pain in the face of these continued attacks.   “The ongoing, and largely un– and underreported, violence AAPI communities have been experiencing, especially in the wake of racist stereotypes related to the pandemic, is horrific and unacceptable. According to the most recent data, hate incidents in major cities targeting Asian Americans rose by nearly 150% in 2020. The United States government, as well as politicians and media personalities, throughout history have been complicit in stoking racism against… Read more »

URGE Response to Arraignment of Local Columbus Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice Advocates Targeted with Criminal Charges

(Columbus, OH) — Statement by Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity on the arraignment of several Columbus-based advocates targeted with criminal charges for peacefully protesting at an anti-abortion event in a local church with a history of targeting abortion clinic patients:  “This church, like many across the country, has been co-opted and politicized by individuals who want abortion to be illegal, people who need abortions to be shamed, and people who support abortion to be intimidated into silence. These extremists have used the pulpit to aggressively push stigmatizing misinformation about abortion and other reproductive health care, while heaping shame upon those who have made the decision to end their pregnancy Some of the people who participated in the protest have been targets of these vile, personal anti-abortion attacks. “The leaders of this church have supported politicians at the Ohio Statehouse in passing unpopular and dangerous bills that make abortion inaccessible. Since 2011, anti-abortion politicians have passed twenty-three restrictions on abortion care in Ohio. These… Read more »

In South and Midwest, Legislators Try to Distract Constituents by Attacking Transgender and Nonbinary Young People

Less than one month after the Biden-Harris Administration repealed the transgender military ban and issued an executive order declaring that all people, “no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation,” receive equal treatment under the law, at least 50 bills attacking transgender and nonbinary young people and communities have cropped up in statehouses throughout the country, with the majority concentrated in the South and Midwest. These bills represent a coordinated attempt to ban trans people from participating in sports, eliminate their health care access, attack their access to safe school environments, and codify anti-trans discrimination.  Statement from Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director, URGE:  “As state legislatures fail to meet the needs of communities devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate disaster, and job loss, lawmakers in the South and Midwest are trying to distract their constituents with cruel attacks on transgender young people. It’s disgusting to see these legislators attacking marginalized children to distract from their own failures.”  “Let’s be clear, these bills are based on lies, justified with… Read more »

Texas Lawmakers’ Response to Disaster and Crisis is Fatally Inadequate

Right now, 4.4 million Texans are without reliable power, 12 million Texans are without clean water, and 27,000 more are without reliable housing. The polar vortex has created an unprecedented climate disaster, exacerbating the ongoing devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed over 41,000 lives in the state. The catastrophe has heightened disparities between wealthy and low-income Texans, as the latter struggle without water, power, economic relief, or the means of basic survival.   Statement from Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director, URGE:  “What we are seeing in Texas is the deadly confluence of preventable climate disaster and failure to invest in the survival of low-income families, immigrants, and people of color. This crisis only compounds the suffering of millions of Texas already pushed to the brink by a deadly and ongoing pandemic, not to mention chronic underfunding of essential programs. It’s time for Texas lawmakers to take… Read more »

Biden Begins to Restore Pre-Trump Status Quo with Administrative Action on Reproductive Health – Young People Say More is Needed 

(Washington, DC) — Statement from Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity in response to the Biden-Harris Administration’s executive actions on sexual and reproductive health.  “Today, the Biden-Harris Administration took steps to address some of the Trump–Pence  Administration’s damage to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and undo some of their appalling sexual and reproductive health policies.”  “While we applaud the administration’s actions: to revoke the global gag rule, open Medicaid enrollment under the ACA, withdraw from the anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ+ Geneva Consensus Declaration, and plans to restore Title X contraception funding, we are here to remind them: there is much more work to be done.”  “Black women, people of color, queer and trans folks, and families with low incomes are facing multiple crises: a deadly pandemic, economic devastation, and systemic racism. At the same time, abortion access is vanishing. The racist Hyde Amendment continues to deny abortion coverage to families pushed to the economic brink and hundreds of abortion restrictions combine to render the legal right to end a pregnancy meaningless for many. The Biden-Harris Administration must listen to those most harmed… Read more »

Young People Demand More from President Biden

  (Washington, DC) — Statement from Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity in response to the statement from the Biden-Harris Administration on the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States.  “Today, the Biden-Harris Administration outlined their commitments around abortion access. While we applaud the Administration’s affirmation that reproductive health care should not depend on a person’s race, income, zip code, or immigration status, we cannot achieve that vision without more robust actions from President Biden. While this is a start, it is not nearly enough.”  “Between the Day 1 press conference failure to reaffirm President Biden’s commitment to end the Hyde Amendment and the conspicuous absence of the word ‘abortion’ from today’s statement, I’m worried that abortion stigma is alive and well in the Biden-Harris Administration. People who have abortions deserve the dignity of recognition — it’s time to say… Read more »

Supreme Court Capitulates to Trump, Reinstates Abortion Pill Restrictions

(Washington, DC) — Statement from Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to lift an injunction that prevented the Trump administration from enforcing a rule to require people seeking medication abortion to see their healthcare provider in-person before being given mifepristone, a safe and effective pill used by 40 percent of people seeking an abortion. “This decision will force people seeking abortion into difficult requirements that aren’t backed by science and that block people from needed care,” said Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity. “People are already trying to survive a pandemic, struggling financially, and in many cases getting to a clinic is difficult or impossible. There’s no good reason to hold… Read more »

As Far-Right Attempts Coup, Young Black Voters in Georgia Make History

(Washington, DC) — Statement from Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity and M.K. Richards, URGE Georgia State Organizer, in response to historic Senate runoff elections in Georgia as American democracy faces an unprecedented test. “Yesterday, just hours before a white supremacist far-Right mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in a violent attempt to overturn the results of the presidential election, we learned that young Black people in Georgia made history by electing Raphael Warnock to be the first Black Democrat from the South to ascend to the U.S. Senate,” said Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity. “At the same time, they also delivered a victory to Jon Ossoff, a 33-year-old son of an immigrant who will become… Read more »

URGE Employees’ Staff Union Receives Voluntary Recognition

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the staff union at URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, WURGE: Workers United for Reproductive & Gender Equity, announced they received voluntary recognition from URGE management. “We are proud to have reached voluntary recognition of an inclusive staff union. URGE staff work every day toward achieving our vision of reproductive justice,” said representatives of WURGE. “We look forward to working together with URGE management to create a work environment that embodies our values as a reproductive justice organization.” “URGE builds young people power for reproductive justice. That vision necessarily includes the interwoven struggles for economic justice and labor organizing, gender justice, and dismantling white supremacy. Every time young people, BIPOC communities, women and queer and trans folks self-advocate, the bricks in the wall of systemic… Read more »