Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: kansas

On Being a Fed Up Kansan and Not Giving Up On Kansas

I want to start off by saying three things. I have lived in Kansas for 19 of my 21 years. There is a deep-seated affection in my heart for the state I call my home. I am bone-weary and ready to run as far as I can. What can I say? Being in the midst of what is quickly becoming a red state that bleeds oppressive legislation, you get worn down. Being a Kansan these days feels like an attack on all fronts. Hell, the rest of the country knows it too, if the current trend of national news outlets pumping out articles lambasting the current state of Kansas politics is any indicator to go by. So, yeah. Sometimes, the silent chant of I can’t wait until I get out… Read more »

Kansas Legislators: Stop Playing Doctor and Start Growing Up

Kansas isn’t new the notion of politicians saying and doing ridiculous and inappropriate things when it concerns reproductive rights. Hell, just in the past few weeks since the new legislative session opened, we’ve already had our governor equate abortion to slavery and another representative claiming women over 50 don’t need gynecological services. But, last Wednesday, on the anniversary of Roe v Wade, Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook might have taken the cake when she orchestrated a sonogram during a meeting of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee. Sen. Pilcher-Cook claimed that she was trying to “give committee members a science education on life within the womb,” but really what she was trying to was try to use an outlandish stunt to disrupt the proceedings for the day—as well as shame anyone… Read more »

Kansas Opens Its Doors For Women’s Health

It is with great pleasure that I am able to write about the recent opening of a full service* women’s health clinic including: STI Testing & Treatment, Contraception, Plan B, Well-Woman Exams, Medical & Surgical Abortion, Pregnancy Confirmation, Abortion Counseling, and much more in my hometown of Wichita, Kansas. The South Wind Women’s Center LLC opened nearly four years after the hate-driven murder of Dr. George Tiller, a hero and champion of all women. Julie Burkhart, director of Trust Women and former colleague of Dr. Tiller, saw this huge gap in health care services for hundreds of thousands of Kansas women and did something about it. Knowing the centrally conservative nature of my city, I can only imagine how difficult and intimidating it would be to reopen this clinic in… Read more »

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

I’d like to spend my last few posts recognizing some of the greatest influences that inspires me to be an advocate for social justice. I’d like to take this opportunity to shed light on someone near and dear to so many men and women of my community – Jana Mackey. This one carries a trigger and a tissue warning. Jana Mackey was a graduate of my school, The University of Kansas, with a degree in Women’s Studies and went on to attend the School of Law. She was a robust advocate for women’s rights and volunteered much of her time to working with sexual assault and domestic violence centers here in Lawrence. She was a member of the Commission on the Status of Women, which I currently have the opportunity… Read more »

Lo Que Los Fanáticos Religiosos Se Esconden

“that which the religious zealots are hiding” So I’m a little bummed today. The legislation in Kansas we’ve been fighting against was passed in both the House and Senate. It waits to receive its guaranteed signature from Governor Sam Brownback, who has continually proven to support harmful legislation that further endangers and marginalizes women. This recent development proves that Kansas does not have women’s best interest in mind. We did not lose without fighting. Senator David Haley, D-Kansas City, was a champion for us during the hearing. He stood up to dangerous wording and implications of the new laws. He went as far as to say that Republicans promote “narrow Taliban-like philosophies on our state’s persons.” I can’t say I disagree. Please can someone PLEASE tell me how it’s helpful… Read more »

Kansas Activists Are Not Giving Up

For the second time in one month, Kansas activists descended upon the state capitol to ensure that all of our voices are being heard. On February 4th, with the help of Choice USA, we raised our concerns to legislators concerning the impending catch-all abortion bill. Soon after the bill was officially introduced as HB2253 and named: AN ACT concerning abortion; relating to the funding of abortion services; relating to restrictions on late-term abortions; relating to the woman’s right-to-know act.   Of course we couldn’t stop there. Organized by Kansas NOW, a group of more than 40 pink wearing advocates from Wichita, El Dorado, Manhattan, Lawrence, Kansas City and Topeka packed the statehouse to bear testimony in front of the committee. I personally was unable to attend but I did give… Read more »

Heart Beats in the Heartland

This past Monday I had the opportunity, along with 25 other students across Kansas, to express my concerns regarding a piece of legislature that has been introduced once again concerning abortion restrictions. – HOUSE BILL No. 2253, Introduced by the Committee on Federal and State Affairs. After having lobbying trainings the day before, we set out to Topeka with one mission: to defeat this bill before it even gets introduced. Knowing this highly unlikely, we came equipped with confidence and personal anecdotes. Each group according to geographic location was divided into smaller groups to meet with their representatives. Some of these meetings were scheduled and some we just dropped in. From a few of their reactions they didn’t know what hit them when 10 of us walked through the door… Read more »

We are Overdue for an Update to Our Child Support Laws

Sperm or egg donation is possibly one of the most selfless gifts you can provide to someone who cannot conceive a child in a more “traditional” manner. Hopefully that belief is in the minds of all people who do make a decision to lend a piece of their body to help another family group. Even if the volunteer only seeks money, that should be immaterial in deciding custody of a child years into their life. However, this meaning seems to be lost in the case of William Marotta. The Kansas man is being pursued by the state for child support after donating sperm to a lesbian couple. Because the artificial insemination was done at home instead of under the supervision of a doctor as required by Kansas law, the state… Read more »

The Summer of Mercy: Revisiting My Hometown’s Dark Anti-Choice History

Mercy: Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm The dark side of anti-choice politics hits home no harder than in my hometown Wichita, Kansas. When meeting new people, especially in the reproductive justice movement, there’s always that moment of infamy, “Ah, Wichita.” Now most are aware that the late Dr. George Tiller also called this place home until 2009 when he was shot in the face during a church service by anti-abortion extremist Scott Roeder. Less people are aware of the Summer of Mercy, I would be the first to admit that it took 21 years to hear of it, but when I did, I was speechless. Above, I’ve defined exactly was mercy means, because after reading more about the summer I… Read more »

“That” Girl

This post will serve as an introductory piece to the readers of this blog. So… I’ve got something to admit. I’m one of THOSE girls. You know the kind. The kind of girl that gets Rush Limbaugh’s panties all tied up in a knot. The kind of girl that would rather listen to Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe” on repeat for the rest of her life than listen to what Ann Coulter has to say. Call me young, call me stupid, but do not call me unaware. I am exactly aware of what people are trying to take away from me. And I’m not backing down, not without a fight. What do I believe in?