Em-URGE-ing Voices

Alumni Spotlight: Raquel Ortega

School, grad year, major Smith College, 2011, Major: Government Minor: Public Policy How were you involved with URGE? I was first hired at URGE (then Choice USA) as a summer Field intern in 2011 right after graduation. I had been involved as a student and saw URGE was hiring a paid internship and knew that it was my destiny to become a professional feminist. The internship led to a full-time position as a Field Associate and then as a Field Coordinator. I left at the end of 2015. What do you do now and how do you bring a reproductive justice frame to the work you do?  As an Organizer for the ACLU of Northern California I am constantly bringing a reproductive justice framework into my current work in the… Read more »


“Struggles for freedom fail only if we assume that unlike every other generation, we are destined to see the end of the bent arc of the moral universe.” – Briallen Hopper 2016 has been one hell of a ride. This year, we have been a part of some of the most important victories our movement has seen in decades – Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, momentum towards the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, and new protections in housing and healthcare for trans people. We have also found ourselves playing defense, witnessing the rise of “bathroom bills,” voter suppression laws, and a President-elect (and movement of supporters) who has promised to undermine or undo damn near everything URGE stands for. It has been a year of extreme highs and devastating lows,… Read more »

Alumni Spotlight: Diana Sencherey

School, grad year, major I graduated from Ohio State University in 2014. I majored in Public Health and minored in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies How were you involved with URGE? I saw an ad for the 2012 RJLI in a campus newsletter. The words reproductive justice caught my eye. I had just been introduced to that term through my women’s writing class. We read a selection from Undivided Rights and the Combahee River Collective. I was struck by the advertisement using “reproductive justice” because the words reproductive justice means something specific. Up until then, my involvement with activism had been a bit of a letdown because the organizations I’d worked with didn’t start from that “justice” framework. I wanted to work with anyone that was not shy about using… Read more »

It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Hyde!

It’s officially the #United4Coverage Week of Action, where numerous organizations are coming together nationwide to ask Congress to lift abortion coverage bans by getting rid of the Hyde Amendment. After 40 years of burden, it’s long past time we get rid of Hyde and allow each of us to be able to make decisions about pregnancy and parenting that are best for our families without political interference. Join us, and our friends at All* Above All this week, and every week to end Hyde! But first? Find out a little more about the Hyde Amendment below!

Alumni Spotlight: Dakota David

School, Grad year, major American University, 2014, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies & Public Health How were you involved with URGE? I was the Field and Training intern during the (incredibly short) summer of 2013. It was a magical time of nonstop work and endless goofiness while prepping for the Gloria Steinem Membership Conference that year. I had worked with URGE through my Students for Choice group on campus previously, and this internship allowed me to expand upon all that I had helped build on campus and develop my own skills as a trainer and leader. What do you do now and how do you bring a reproductive justice frame to the work you do? I am the Training Manager at the National Abortion Federation Hotline. The Hotline offers crisis… Read more »

A Statement from URGE on the tragedy in Orlando

Our hearts are broken today. Broken into fifty pieces. The tragic events last night in Orlando did not happen in a vacuum, they happened in a culture that is made unsafe for far too many of us. Our thoughts are with every victim and their families, and with all of people in the LGBTQ community who are hurting right now. Today, we are on the third day of our national conference with participants from around the country. This conference is a time for young people to connect and share and learn from each other. The power and resilience of these incredible young people is what is going to change our world to be more just for us all. Our vision for the future is for us all to live in… Read more »

Congratulations to All of Our Graduating Seniors

URGE is so lucky to have hundreds of students dedicated to protecting everyone’s right to their own bodies. We’re proud of everything our activists accomplished this year from nail art fundraisers in Texas to sex trivia nights in Ohio to condom valentines in Kansas. Saying goodbye to another school year and another group of graduates is never easy, but we know we haven’t seen or the heard the last of each and every activist who wrapped up their undergraduate careers this month. Congratulations seniors! We couldn’t have built the power we did in 2016 without you. Ohio Name: Taylor Burtch School: University of Toledo Major:  Women’s Studies & Psychology How did being a student activist with URGE impact you? URGE really opened my eyes to a more inclusive view of reproductive… Read more »

The National #AbortionPositive Tour

5 states, 10 campuses, 85 student volunteers, 400 texts to support the EACH Woman Act, 2300 petition signatures in support of abortion coverage… and one giant vagina costume. The first ever National #AbortionPositive tour with All* Above All was an absolute success! Because we know better than anyone how hard being #AbortionPositive in red states can be, we’re thrilled with the impact the tour made in one month around the country. Based loosely on the model of the 2014 All* Above All Be Bold Road Trip, the tour spread the message that people who choose to get an abortion should never feel ashamed for making a personal healthcare decision that’s best for themselves and their families. Being Abortion Positive means believing that abortion is a public good and should be affordable and accessible… Read more »