ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: reproductive justice

Virginity is a Myth

Virginity, a hymen, and purity. What do these things have in common? Exactly. Nothing. Virginity is a concept that mainly regards a woman who has had sex as disposable. This is especially apparent in the chewing gum analogy where a ‘chewed up’ piece of gum, or a woman who has had many sexual partners, should be discarded for a ‘fresh’ piece of gum. Society’s fixation on preserving virginity in women and eliminating virginity in men has essentially created false meanings when it comes to sexuality. Society has created the term “purity” as a state that mainly aligns itself to the female sex. In Jessica Valenti’s book “The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women,” she argues that chastity and abstinence-only rhetoric places a woman’s worth on… Read more »

Trust Me, We’ve Got This: Women and Birth Control Edition

I didn’t need birth control until I was almost eighteen. A few months away from college, not sexually active, and not facing any difficulties with my period; I had no real use for it until it became another thing to cross off my ‘become an adult’ bucket-list. When I finally got to the doctor’s office, I had enough internet research under my belt to know exactly what I was going to ask for. The main stipulation I had as I walked into the clean, tiled hallway was something that did not have to be taken daily, knowing my own habits for forgetting to take antibiotics and other medicines taken orally. When I walked out, I had a prescription for daily hormone pills and a defeated sense of self. After talking with… 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 »

Miss(Cis) Expectations: Pregnancy & Trans Identities

It’s the first week of classes and I’ve already had to defend my decision not to carry children twice.  It happens at least once every year, either from friends, family or well-meaning acquaintances, my insistence that I will never carry is met with disturbed, pity-filled consolations – pity because some assume I am infertile or believe my queerness has jaded my perceptions of pregnancy, and shameful disbelief that I fail to follow my “maternal instincts.” This pity typically morphs into anger or twenty-minute tirades filled with alternative options, as if I have never watched a Laci Green video, or as if my decision is not well-informed and just came overnight. These interactions demonstrate concern at best from commentators, but for me, they demonstrate disrespect towards my identity and autonomy. My first memory… Read more »

My journey as a Catholic Reproductive Justice activist

I’m what you would call a cradle Catholic. I was baptized as a baby and I have been Catholic since. I go to Mass, read my Bible and say the rosary. I went to Catholic school from the time I was three years old until I was 14. I am also a reproductive justice activist. It is no secret the Catholic Church has always been very openly against abortion and, in a lot of cases, contraception. I don’t really know if there was ever a time where I decided and openly said that was incorrect and I was going to go against the teachings of the Church, I think it has always been a part of me. Deep down, I always knew it was wrong to deny abortion and birth… Read more »

Psssst. Straight Passing Privilege is a Fantasy

The first time I heard Jenny Lewis, she was singing about some pretty heavy stuff. I was 16 and at that point in my life, I could count the number of rebellious things I’d done on one hand. A Man/Then Me/Then Jim for someone like me (who stressed if she was even a few minutes late to class) was edgy in a really romantic way. I clearly remember thinking how cool Jenny Lewis was for writing a song about someone who had really complex romantic relationships with both men and women. Clearly, I could not read a song title. I know now that the song traces the lives of three different speakers, only one of which is actually Jenny. Regardless of Jenny’ actual intention, though, for me it has always… Read more »

Alabama’s SB 205: a New Spin on TRAP Laws?

As of 2014, Alabama has five abortion clinics.  Today, the House Health Committee is having a public hearing on Senate Bill 205, which could force clinics to relocate or ultimately shut down, further decreasing our already limited access to abortion providers. SB 205 would prohibit the renewal of licenses for abortion clinics within 2,000 feet of a school—the same distance required of sex offenders. Not only does this distance and the association with sex crimes make obtaining an abortion seem like an illicit act—Senator Paul Sanford, who proposed the bill, even stated that if they can limit a pedophile’s proximity to a school, they should be able to do the same with the clinics—but it also comes across like yet another law imposed in the hopes of shutting down clinics… Read more »

When it Comes to Consent, There is No Gray Area

I intended to write this post and have it up last week so it would be more timely, but due to a death in the family, I was unable to and had to save it for this week. This past weekend, Auburn University’s chapter of Alpha Psi hosted their annual Rodeo, an outdoor country concert held each spring. It is not university-sponsored, but it still remains something of an Auburn tradition. In the week leading up, the campus Walmart is rearranged so the essentials are up by the cash register: cowboy hats, denim, and cheap beer. People come from all over the southeast to experience the atmosphere and excitement. As luck has it, it typically rains the days preceding Rodeo, which means that everyone who attends is standing in the… Read more »

Know Your IX Boot Camp: A Recap

  Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Know Your IX Activist Bootcamp, an intensive two day long training dedicated to educating student activists about anti-sexual violence campaigns across universities on the West Coast. Know Your IX, a grassroots, youth and survivor led organization dedicated to providing students with the legal knowledge and organizing skills to end sexual violence on campuses, hosted the event. I came away from the training in awe of the incredible work students and survivors are already doing on their campuses. Badass student activists are not only holding their universities accountable, but creating a culture of consent and safety for communities affected by gender-based violence on their campuses. If you’re not well-versed in the intricacies of federal and state laws that protect students… Read more »

Let’s Shout About Birth Control!

Today, the Supreme Court will hear the oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell, yet another case involving reproductive health. The case is comprised of seven lawsuits, with religiously-affiliated nonprofits arguing against the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Sylvia Burwell. This issue has already made its way through appellate courts, with eight ruling in favor of the government and one ruling in favor of employers. This case is another challenge to the Affordable Care Act—“the fourth time in four years that the justices have taken up a challenge to the law.” Specifically, this deals with the ACA’s guarantee that birth control, among other preventative health measures, will be covered by insurance at no additional cost. This includes all birth control measures, not just the pill; IUDs… Read more »