ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: pregnancy

Breaking News: Sexual Education Did Not Prepare Me for Sex

Let me introduce myself. I am an upper middle class woman who grew up in a fairly prosperous area. I went to a middle school and high school that are highly ranked in the country. I am currently in the Honors College at a well-ranked public school on the pre-medical track. My friends, for the most part, are progressive and openly talk about sex. All of these factors, one may think, might make me more prepared for sexual encounters. This may be the case, but I still would not label myself as “prepared”. In fact, I think I was fairly far from it when I started having sex and still do not know as much about sex and sexual health as I would like. I have made many mistakes along… Read more »

Innovations by Women are the Future of Reproductive Health

With the rise of women worldwide entering STEM fields, more and more modern-day innovations are created by women and girls. We are also seeing more businesses run by women, creating new products and enhancing old products for other women and female-bodied people. Female innovators in every field are important, and their contributions to society are valuable. In particular, women and other people creating great products that positively impact reproductive health are critical, and should be celebrated. First, look at LOLA. It’s a company that sells “tampons and pads by women, for women.” Their products are different because LOLA is straightforward with what materials they’re using; for example, their tampons are 100% cotton. LOLA’s founders, Jordana and Alex, came up with the idea for their product by considering a simple question:… Read more »

Chubby Not Chastity: Guess What? I’m Fat and Want Plan B

During finals week this past April, I found myself slumped over a frequently dying PC, empty Starbucks double shots and a series of text messages about Plan B. My sole sexual partner at the time was trying to convince me that sex with condoms is lame and that au-naturale was the way to go. Now, of course the break from studying piqued my interest so I listened to his various arguments for why latex-less sex was what all the kids were doing. After a few misguided attempts to convince me, he offered up what I’m sure he saw as the winning argument: “how about I buy you Plan B afterwards.”   There it was, the end all, be all of preventative methods. Except there was one flaw with this holy… Read more »

My Experience Calling Crisis Pregnancy Hotlines

Have you ever gone on a road trip that involved northern Florida and southern Georgia? If you haven’t, don’t worry—you’re not missing much. The only interesting thing to look at is the abundance of billboards. They either advertise massage parlors catering to truckers, Jesus and when he’s coming back, or phone numbers to call if you’re pregnant and scared and considering that dreaded word: abortion. Even if you haven’t been on this particular (excruciatingly long) stretch of road, I’m sure you’ve seen similar signs, whether just posted alongside the road or on full-size billboards. The message is usually the same: Pregnant? Scared? Call this number! Sometimes the image depicts somebody with their head in their hands. Sometimes it’s an infant. I decided to give a few ‘pregnancy crisis hotline’ numbers… Read more »

The Little-Known Problem of Chemical Pregnancies

She came up to me before class on a Tuesday afternoon with tears in her eyes. “Can I talk to you about something?” she asked quietly. I was taken aback; this was a girl I had only met a couple months earlier in the very classroom we were waiting outside of, who I spoke to twice a week, and whose last name I didn’t know, yet I was the person she chose to turn to during a time of crisis. She was clearly upset, so I nodded, and she said those two words that can be spoken with great joy or harrowing fear: “I’m pregnant.” My natural, knee-jerk reaction was to gasp. And then I asked the typical and insensitive question: “Are you sure?” She started to cry then and… Read more »

18 and pregnant: how a young mom is challenging the stigma of “teen pregnancy”

The thought of having a baby has always been difficult for me to grasp and a vision I never really had for myself. I just do not feel like I am the type of person fit to be a mother. Maybe one day I will feel differently, people do change after all, but maybe I won’t, and that’s okay too. In 2013, there were 26.5 births for every 1,000 adolescent females ages 15-19. I never thought I would fit into that statistic. And when I found out one of my best friends, Liliana Lucio, did the summer after our senior year, I was shocked. We grew up together, we went to school together from the time we were three years old to our high school graduation. We knew everything about… Read more »

This “classist, sexist, anti-child” California Policy Must Go

Over twenty years ago, California was swept up in the fervor of President Clinton’s “welfare reform” policies, and, following suit, cut welfare to low income families by instituting the Maximum Family Grant Rule. The rule denies additional aid to children born to mothers who already receive cash aid through the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKS) welfare program. This means that families who are enrolled in CalWORKS when they have a child can’t receive an extra $128 a month in order to pay for housing, food, and other necessary expenses that new parents inevitably incur. In December 2014, California Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) proposed SB-23 in order to repeal the Maximum Family Grant rule, calling it “a classit, sexist, anti-democratic, anti-child policy” because of the ugly welfare queen stereotype (a woman who… Read more »

Child Free by Choice

Our society is based in many ways on children and families. Our culture devotes massive amounts of time and resources to the raising of children. Certainly this is good, as children are the future of our society, and that investment is worthwhile. But one side effect of this culture is the automatic expectation that people have children. I understand that as a man, I certainly don’t face the same type or intensity of pressures as my wife or any woman in our society does. And some of that comes from people believing that a woman’s job is to have children. So part of being seen as an adult woman in our society is having children. So as a man I don’t face the same level of stigma for not having… Read more »

Education Access is Reproductive Justice

The most recent budget plan put out by Congress includes some serious cuts to federal student loan programs. It would freeze the levels of Pell Grants being offered, even though currently the level is tied to inflation, which does not rise at the same rate as higher education costs. It would also charge interest on student loans while the students are still in school. This would have a chilling effect on the amount of student debt we are saddled with, which is already astronomically high. To make matters worse, the new budget would completely get rid of the loan repayment plans that make it possible for anyone to pay down that astronomical debt. This budget would spell economic disaster for millions of student who already have student loan debt, or… Read more »

Sending Love to our Abortion Providers

This week we commemorate the ruling of Roe v. Wade that made abortion legal in our country. In doing so, the doctors who provide abortion services need to be appreciated for their tremendously important work to keep equal healthcare rights alive in the United States. Since Roe was enacted, there have been many attempts to undermine accessibility to abortion and overturn the ruling to keep it legal. Over the past forty-two years, there have been many federal attacks to dismantle equal rights for women. From the Hyde Amendment to Planned Parenthood v. Casey to the rise of state restrictions on reproductive health providers, the doctors who choose to continue to provide abortion services are extremely valuable to anyone who supports equal rights. With all of this documented federal pushback it… Read more »