Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: legislation

Criminalizing Miscarraige

Miscarriage is an incredibly common phenomenon that we don’t talk enough about. A miscarriage is defined as the sudden loss of a fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy. It’s estimated that 10 to 25% of confirmed pregnancies end in a miscarriage.  Miscarriages have a variety of causes, such as chromosome problems with the fetus, drug use, exposure to toxins, and systemic diseases. It’s safe to say that miscarriages are something that most pregnant people will experience at some point in their lives. Yet we are seeing an increase in convictions against people who experience miscarriages. Brittney Poolaw, an indigenous Comanche woman from Oklahoma, was convicted in October 2021 and sentenced to serve four years in an Oklahoma state prison on manslaughter charges due to a miscarriage she had in… Read more »

A Triple Threat: My Thoughts on Three California Bills That Champion for Reproductive Justice

On October 8th, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 453, AB 367, and AB 1171 into law. What does this mean for the fight against sexual violence and the battle for increased access to reproductive healthcare? California is currently at the forefront of protecting reproductive rights for all of its citizens. With the passing of three major bills — AB 453, AB 367, and AB 1171 — comes a major promise of ensuring that voices of victims of sexual assault and period poverty are being heard and listened to. By making stealthing illegal, ending the “spousal rape exception”, and requiring period products to be put in public school bathrooms across California, these radical new laws will close many gaps in ensuring equity that existed previously. These bills could easily be the… Read more »

Thanks, Obama: My Christmas Present from POTUS

After eight full years of the Obama administration, December 2016 marked the last full month of Obama as the POTUS. In his last weeks, his desire to pass as much protective legislation has been in overdrive. Protections for woman’s health, DAPL, and sexual assault survivors have been on the list of protections, all of which bring a small amount of security in a time of uncertain future. An amendment that brought a special amount of holiday joy was attached to the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act, which outlines foreign policy in regards to religious persecution outside of the United States. The amendment clarifies and added specific language to not only protect different theistic religions, but also protect nontheistic religions and the lack of religion as well. This provides… Read more »

Human Trafficking and Abortion Care

Human trafficking is one of the largest systems of organized criminal activity. It is frequently considered in the realm of international human rights. Because of lack of media coverage and education on human trafficking in the United States, I was recently surprised to learn that Lorain County, where my school is located, has one of the highest human trafficking rates in the United States. As a county with three major interstate highways running through it, Lorain is an epicenter for exchange. In Ohio, almost 1,100 minors are trafficked each year. Organizations such as Project Unbound and the Human Trafficking Collaborative of Lorain County are working to stop the epidemic, get people who are in hostage situations to safety, and provide care to survivors. Many of the projects to get help… Read more »

California’s Cruel Policy that Keeps Families in Poverty

At the end of last month SB 23 passed its first committee in the California Legislature.  For those of you who don’t know, SB 23 is a bill that seeks to repeal the CalWORKs Maximum Family Grant Rule (MFG) which bars families from receiving additional aid for any child born during the time that family is already receiving CalWORKs aid. A family receiving CalWORKs is a family who is struggling. How can a state say that they are not willing to provide assistance to any additional children knowing that children who grow up in poverty end up with poorer health, have behavioral and emotional problems, and are at higher risk of unintended pregnancy in their teen years? This is inhumane. What’s worse is that the rule applies to every member of… Read more »

Public Assistance is Reproductive Justice

Recently, my home state of Kansas passed a law that places several restrictions on the usage of benefits received from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), commonly referred to as welfare. Among other things, the bill prohibits TANF benefits from being used at swimming pools, movie theaters, cruise ships, and tattoo parlors. Also, the bill limits ATM withdrawals from the TANF account to $25 per day. On top of these new restrictions, Kansas also requires recipients of TANF benefits to be working or looking for work, and has instituted a drug testing policy for those who qualify. And Kansas isn’t the only state to be fighting this “problem” of the luxury of being poor. Missouri lawmakers have been pushing for a bill greatly restricting what type of groceries… Read more »

Purvi Patel’s Imprisonment and the Implications of Anti-Choice Laws

Yesterday, thirty-three year old Purvi Patel of Indiana was sentenced to twenty years of imprisonment on the charges of feticide and neglect. Patel was sentenced with thirty years of jail time on charges of neglect, six years for infanticide (to be served at the same time as the neglect charges), and is likely to spend five years time on probation post-prison. RH Reality Check coverage of the news described Patel as an Indian American who, “lived in a conservative Hindu household in which it was expected that she would not engage in premarital sex, and wanted to keep the pregnancy a secret from her parents.” Purvi Patel sought medical care at St. Joseph Hospital, a Catholic organization, after she was experiencing bleeding. According to the Vatican’s Catechism 2270, the Catholic Church… Read more »