ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: reproductive justice

Young, Pregnant, and At Work

Written by Kelsey Ryland, URGE Law & Policy Fellow The Supreme Court will hear the case of Peggy Young v. United Parcel Service (UPS) on December 3.  Kadijah wrote about the case for us, but in short: Ms. Young, a pregnant UPS employee, was instructed by her doctor to request light duty, but UPS refused to accommodate her request. UPS routinely accommodates other workers with injuries or other limitations. The 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act should protect workers in this situation, but two lower courts have supported UPS. Now the Supreme Court will hear the case and determine whether or not the Pregnancy Discrimination Act has enough force to protect pregnant workers. Protecting pregnant workers is a reproductive justice issue that hugely impacts young people. This isn’t the 1950s anymore and most… Read more »

RJ Tech Talk: Male Contraceptive Pill

Hooray! Male birth control will be available by 2017. What is male birth control? The Parsemus Foundation, a company that works on making healthcare affordable, is working on developing Valgasel: a pill made for men that will prevent contraception from happening. Luckily for you, guys, this is not a hormonal method! It targets a physical mechanism that targets the sperms little tiny tails and stops them from swimming. Also, the process if reversible and sperm will completely viable once again. As with any form of contraceptive pill, a barrier method will also be required to prevent transferring STIs between partners. What happens inside of bodies that take Valgasel? When sperm are created and stored in the testis (aka balls), and when they make there way from their storage center to exit… Read more »

It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over… And It’s Nowhere Near Over

Like something straight out of a cliché, Wednesday dawned gray and overcast and it stayed that way for the entire day. The midterm elections were not especially kind to the reproductive justice movement this round, though North Dakota and Colorado showed what they were made of, with voters in both states rejecting anti-abortion personhood measures, giving the rest of us something to cheer for in the midst of a bloodbath of a night. The decisions made by much of the nation this November will ensure a minefield for those who support reproductive rights and work hard to ensure their preservation. My Facebook news feed was understandably depressed. But my Facebook news feed was also duly enraged. The same reproductive justice activists nursing the hardest liquor in the face of at… Read more »

RJ Tech Talk: Artificial Wombs

What are artificial wombs? Artificial wombs are devices that are able to allow embryos to grow outside of a person’s body. They do not exist yet, but many predict they will be a reality within the next two decades. As a form of ectogenesis, they allow for the growth of an organism externally from a bodily womb in an artificial environment.  The artificial uterus will be able to provide oxygen, nutrients, and dispose of wastes to ensure fetal growth. This highly controlled and self-sustaining environment would be able to safeguard the baby from disease and external pollutants (eg. alcohol, drugs or other environmental pollutants). The possibilities and applications of these things are endless! Benefits: Artificial wombs have the potential to assist couples that don’t have the capabilities of producing children,… Read more »

Can one street harassment experience speak for us all?

Earlier this week a video entitled 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman was released and immediately went viral on the Internet. The almost two minute PSA was produced by a non-profit organization called Hollaback! whose mission is to end street harassment. The film features Shoshana B. Roberts in a black t-shirt and jeans walking silently through New York City for a total of ten hours as she receives over 108 harassing comments. The comments ranged from catcalls and whistles to men following Roberts for minutes at a time. The intent of the video was to start a conversation about street harassment and have people realize that Roberts experience is not unique when according to the website, between 70 and 99 percent of women are harassed while walking down the street at some… Read more »

RJ Tech Talk: Egg Freezing

As new technology is being developed for reproductive health, many questions come up as to how each product can fit into the framework justice. Technology’s impact on gender, sexuality, and reproductive choices has vastly expanded over the past fifty years. I’ve chosen to explain oocyte cryopreservation, or egg freezing, one tech product I’ve been seeing in the media a lot and provide links to other sources that talk about its use within reproductive justice, controversial or not. Oocyte cryopreservation, also known as egg freezing, is a procedure where a woman’s oocytes (eggs) are extracted, frozen, and the preserved. The eggs can be thawed later on when the person wants to become pregnant, transferred after fertilization to the uterus as embryos. Recently, egg freezing has been in the news because Facebook… Read more »

A wolf in sheep’s clothing, is still a wolf

Recently, a mother in Pennsylvania was sentenced to prison because she ordered the abortion–inducing-drugs – misoprostol and mifepristone, over the internet for her daughter who was in the early stages of a pregnancy.  Before I get into the details, let’s read this quote from the prosecuting attorney in the case:  “it is vital to note that this case is not about pro-life or pro-choice. In actuality, this case is about endangering the welfare of a child through the unauthorized practice of medicine and pharmacy.” Actually, no.  The daughter in this story was not experiencing any symptoms that were abnormal for an abortion of this kind.  The abortion pill induces a miscarriage, which can lead to severe cramping, the exact symptoms the daughter was experiencing.  Therefore, the prosecutor’s claim that this… Read more »

Treat Yo’ Self: Activist Self-Care

Working to create heal communities and comfortable spaces for everyone can be draining and we need to make sure we are making time for ourselves so that we don’t burn out. You’re doing amazing work, just don’t forget to treat yourself once in a while. This past weekend my friends hosted a feminist brunch where we were able to talk about all of the stresses of activism and living in patriarchal society. We talked about everything from how Emma Watson’s feminism speech for the UN didn’t quite do us justice, how all the white boy organizers love Chris Crass and why some of us are not on board with his allyship, and about how we can keep spaces feminist within organizing while still being inclusive. As activists who are constantly devoting ourselves to… Read more »

Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Philanthropy

This summer my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a tiring three month battle, she has luckily made it into remission. Her birthday is next Friday, which coincidentally falls during my fall break. For her birthday party, my mom has encouraged her friends to donate to our local branch of the Susan G. Komen Foundation instead of buying her a gift. My mom thoroughly researched her decision beforehand. She informed me that the organization has been doing some great work providing breast cancer prevention services for low income people and people without healthcare. However,  I couldn’t help but feel uneasy about her choice of organization. In case you didn’t remember, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  This year the internet and the world in real life is looking much… Read more »

Quick Guide to Debating the Issues Without Losing Your Sh*T

We’ve all done it before. We are having seemingly harmless conversations with our friends. Then someone who you thought you liked says something way out of line. All of a sudden, you begin using crazy hand gestures, you roll your eyes, and use intelligent words like “stupid” as you mimic your opponent. The reproductive justice movement is no stranger to these kinds of heated conversations.  As I hear conversations among people with regard to reproductive justice, foreign policy, etc. I have heard productive disagreements and some unproductive disagreements. I have included some quick tips below to help us be more effective listeners and speakers. 1.       Speak Calmly I have noticed that screaming at the top of your lungs creates an atmosphere where everyone holds on to their position even tighter… Read more »