ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: legislation

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 »

5 Things I Learned From Lobbying at the Capitol

Yesterday I did something I wouldn’t have expected myself to do in a million years. I went to my Texas State Capitol and lobbied for a package of reproductive healthcare bills under the ‘Trust. Respect. Access.’ campaign. We had bills that addressed the need for comprehensive sex education in schools, to bills that addressed  the state-mandated 24-hour waiting period for abortions. But all the bills really simply fit into the platform of ‘Trust. Respect. Access.’ which means that we: Trust Texans to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions Respect the knowledge of healthcare professionals and their medical and ethical judgement about the care each patient needs. guarantee that everyone in Texas, if so chooses, gets Access to a safe, compassionate, and timely abortion. I learned so much from the training before… Read more »