ChoiceWords Blog

Reproductive Rights Groups Target Kyrsten Sinema In New Anti-Filibuster Ad Buy

Sinema has a strong record on abortion rights, with a 100% rating from NARAL. But the senator has repeatedly said she will not back abolishing the filibuster, and many reproductive rights groups are now targeting her for not going far enough. ″[Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell] only needed 51 votes to pack the Supreme Court with three ultra-conservative justices ― it’s clear that we should only need 51 votes to protect our right to abortion access and make choices for our bodies,” Desireé Luckey, director of policy, and Monica Edwards, federal policy manager, at URGE: Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity, a member of the coalition, said in a joint statement to HuffPost. “Senate Democrats, who say they support reproductive rights but remain silent on or against the filibuster, are supporting reproductive… Read more »

Senate Bill 8 Could Pave the Way for More State Abortion Bans

The bill varies from other abortion bills that red states regularly pass due to an unusual provision that empowers private citizens, rather than state officials, to enforce this ban. As Desireé Luckey, director of policy at Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, explained, “The law deputizes private citizens. The only people who are authorized to bring causes of action in civil courts are private individuals, not state officials.”

Ohio pro-choice activists are gearing up for a fight against a restrictive anti-abortion bill

“Young people under the age of 18 have to obtain parental consent or go through a cumbersome and traumatizing process of getting a judicial bypass from the state when they decide to end a pregnancy,” explained Jordyn Close, an Ohio state coordinator with Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity (URGE), a queer, youth-led reproductive justice organization focused in the South and Midwest. Close also explained that during the most recent budget cycle, the Ohio legislature siphoned limited state resources to fund anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers.

Failed Montgomery nondiscrimination ordinance would’ve benefited local economy: Chamber

Courtney Roark, Alabama state policy and movement building director for Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, or URGE, said the group was “incredibly disappointed and disgusted” in the city council’s vote. “It is extremely disheartening that the Montgomery City Council has rejected Mayor Steven Reed’s non-discrimination ordinance, which would have protected marginalized groups from discrimination in housing, employment, and public places. Everyone, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, and disability deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” Roark said. “We are incredibly disappointed and disgusted by the anti-trans rhetoric that continues to be spewed in policy-making chambers in Alabama, both at the state and local levels,” they added. “We are not going to sit idly by without holding the Montgomery City Council accountable. The LGBTQ+ community… Read more »

Remove ‘male’ and ‘female’ from birth certificates? Here’s why the country’s largest group of physicians recommends it.

Kimberly Inez McGuire, executive director of Urge, an advocacy group focused on reproductive and gender issues, says recommendations like the AMA’s are “essential” for moving the needle forward. “Young people are creating a world with such an expansive concept of gender,” said Inez McGuire. “They’re articulating gender identities that we don’t even have the language for yet.”

Sex Education In The United States Is Broken, But It Doesn’t Have To Be

For far too long and in far too many schools, LGBTQ+ kids haven’t seen themselves reflected in curricula — to this day, five states still require that only negative information be provided about being queer, and another 12 require a positive emphasis on heterosexuality, the Guttmacher Institute notes. This has serious ramifications. “As a queer young person, I had a lot of conversations within romantic and platonic relationships about the validity of queer sex,” says Makayla (M.K.) Richards, a Georgia State organizer for the organization URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity. “I was wondering, ‘Is this valid if it’s not penetrative penis-and-vagina, or cis-hetero-normative, sex? Does my pleasure matter if it’s outside of the scope of what society would deem as ‘normal?’” But beyond a conversation about the topic in their general… Read more »

Everything you need to know about Juneteenth, the new federal holiday

“As a kid, I always looked forward to the Juneteenth festival my mom took me to. Growing up in Birmingham, in a Black neighborhood, going to a Black school, we usually learned Black History in the context of a struggle—against Jim Crow, against enslavement, against the systems that sought to obliterate Blackness and Black people,” said Danielle Hurd-Wilson, Interim Deputy Director of Field and Programs at the nonprofit URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, in a statement. “But the Juneteenth celebrations I went to growing up were centered around the joy of liberation and the vast, vast possibilities that lay in front of Black people who were to no longer be treated as property.”