Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: choice

Texas Doesn’t Care About Low Income Women’s Reproductive Health

When I think about my beloved home state, I think of many things: breakfast tacos, Selena, longhorns, wide open spaces, and crippling abortion restrictions. Seeing as I am newly minted Midwesterner for college, I have been catching up on Texas news this week to feel close to home. This week, a nonprofit government watchdog, The Campaign for Accountability, went to the District Attorney of Travis County (the county that Austin is in) with complaints against the anti-choice organization, the Heidi Group. Their filed complaint alleges that the group is guilty of theft by taking state funds for services that were never provided. After the state removed Planned Parenthood from its women’s health program in 2011, Texas saw a significant spike in births among low-income women, many of whom lost access… Read more »

What I Learned Escorting at an Abortion Clinic

When a friend of mine told me she went “escorting” on weekends I wrongly assumed she meant either she was joking or working nights to pay for college. What she actually meant, I learned, was that she helps escort people into an abortion clinic in town. On Saturday mornings, she will stand in front of a local abortion clinic with a bright orange vest and an umbrella, offering to walk into the clinic with patients. Her job involved calmly talking to the patients, offering to help them into the clinic, asking them about their day, and other things of that nature. This may not seem necessary to some readers, except these patients have to, on a weekly basis, deal with overt and cruel harassment from a crowd of people standing… Read more »

The New Problem That Has No Name

In just about every Intro to Women’s Studies class, students read an excerpt of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, usually about ‘the problem that has no name.’ It was certainly one of my favorite readings that semester, and I still find myself skimming through it when I want to read something familiar. Over fifty years ago, Friedan wrote about how women were starting to wonder, “Is this all?” They were becoming unhappy with their societally-prescribed roles in life: mothers, wives, caretakers, and very little else. This is how women of the time were taught, though: “They were taught to pity the neurotic, unfeminine, unhappy women who wanted to be poets or physicists or presidents. They learned that truly feminine women do not want careers, higher education, political rights—the independence and… Read more »

Female Empowerment Means Having Options

I was talking with a friend the other day about a girl she knows—an incredibly smart girl, with a 4.0 GPA in her engineering classes, who plans on getting married and becoming a stay-at-home mom after college. My friend told me that it seemed like such a disappointment that this incredibly intelligent girl was giving up a promising career for an “M.R.S. degree.” I told her that it was tempting for me to agree. Feminism and female empowerment means that ladies don’t need to get married or have kids—pursue academia and independence, girls! But don’t feminism and female empowerment actually mean that women can do, well, whatever they want? This girl should have every right to be a mother as I have every right to have a career. I struggle… Read more »