ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: reproductive justice

Thirty-eight Years Too Long: The Harm of the Hyde Amendment

By Ashton Brasher I keep consistent contact with a friend from my childhood. Over the past few years, her circumstances have become rather difficult. With a dependent child, a complicated romantic life, and living paycheck to paycheck with government assistance, her days are seldom easy. Recently, she approached me with some fears that she might be pregnant again. She immediately said she would want to explore abortion as an option. She felt her life circumstances simply could not support another child. I was humbled by her ability to make a hard decision not only for herself but for her family. A few moments later, a sad fact occurred to me. I asked her about her health insurance provider. My fears were realized when she told me she currently relies on… Read more »

The People’s Climate March: Bringing Movements Together

On Sunday, September 21, 2014, the People’s Climate March was held in New York City. Organizers estimated that over 400,000 people from across the globe gathered to protest climate destabilization. The rally was devised in response to the United Nation’s Climate Summit as a strategy for international environmental justice advocates. Many people in attendance of the march voiced their encouragement of governments to put sanctions on domestic industries and corporations that will decrease pollution, and called for divestment from corporations that thrive off of the exploitation of people and the environment. The People’s Climate March was the largest climate march in history, and with “2808 solidarity events in 166 countries,” it is clear that the degradation of the environmental is tied to many social justice issues. As advocates for reproductive… Read more »

The Voices of the Unshackled

On a pleasant fall Saturday afternoon, September 20, 2014 to be exact, I made my way from Barnard College to the breath taking Brooklyn Museum located in Eastern Parkway. I regrettably did not get to wander the museum because I came to the museum for a specific purpose. I attended the event, Unshackled: Women Speak Out on Mass Incarceration and Reproductive Justice, the third event in the “States of Denial” Panel Series. The term, shackled, resonates with because it represents a physical practice to be discussed later in this blog post as well as a mental shackling. The event was a well-attended collaboration between the Correctional Association of New York and the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. The room buzzed with soft smooth jazzy beats as we prepared… Read more »

WTF Ohio? A Guide to Current Legislation and Activism

Right now, there are no clinics in Ohio with active licenses to terminate pregnancies. Every single clinic is currently out of compliance with Ohio legislation. RH Reality Check just released a run-down on Ohio’s newly renewed anti-abortion budget yesterday. Over the past few months anti-choice legislators and activists have been engaging in attempts to shut down clinics one by one, without much interference from local lawmakers. Recent Ohio legislation has constructed a terrifying model for shutting down clinics — and it could get used by states across the country. Texas, Alabama, Louisiana and other states have seen their fair share of Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider, also known as TRAP, laws that are designed specifically to shut down provider service facilities. Fortunately for women’s health advocates, many judges have ruled… Read more »

Dear People on 88th and Broadway

On Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 I worked with Grassroots Campaigns, Inc., a non-profit organization working on behalf of other non-profit organizations like Doctors without Borders and Lambda Legal. On this particular day, I canvassed and fundraised on behalf of Planned Parenthood in New York City.  I stood in the middle of a semi- busy sidewalk on 88th and Broadway donning an oversized tee-shirt. My goal was to enlist monthly and one-time contributors to Planned Parenthood. Due to the pleasant and not so pleasant interactions I had with people on the street, I have decided to write an open letter to the people I encountered.   Dear People on 88th and Broadway, I get it. It feels like it is 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit today. You have places to go, people to… Read more »

Dating Violence, LGBTQ Youth, & Reproductive Justice

Responding to dating violence among LGBTQ youth should be a reproductive justice priority. Not only do LGBTQ young people experience higher rates of relationship violence than their peers, they also face unique obstacles in trying to get help. These realities put young people’s sexual and reproductive health at risk. In standing up for youth health and rights, we need demand prevention efforts—including comprehensive sex education—that are LGBTQ-inclusive, respect young people’s relationships, and empower them with the information they need to make healthy and responsible decisions.

Ways to Stay Involved in Reproductive Justice Activism Now that You’ve Graduated College

If you’re like me, you became involved with reproductive justice activism in college. College was where you first realized that underneath your sarcasm, snark and occasional misanthropic tendencies, you really wanted to be an activist. You channelled all your angst, frustration and passion into reproductive activism. It’s awesome that  you spent four years or five years or two years learning about and engaging with reproductive justice activism. Or maybe you were late to the party and have only been involved during your last semester of college. Now you’re about to graduate and you’re panicking, not because you don’t have a job — well, that too — but you’re panicking because you don’t know how to continue your activism now that college is over. Fret not dear friend, I’m here to… Read more »

Looking Back: (Almost) A Year of Blogging

Last July, I hopped on a plane to attend the Choice USA National Conference, where I met an engaged community of young people working and organizing for reproductive justice all over the country.  These amazing young people organized in their schools and communities for things like increasing access to sex education and resources for trans* individuals, they marched against sexual assault, they organized LGBTQ-positive events on their campus.  They were doing the important work necessary to expand and protect reproductive justice for all people in this country and I got to spend several days with them in the nation’s capital, learning and sharing. Since that conference, I have been continually inspired by the ChoiceUSA community in my year blogging for ChoiceWords.  Through this blog, I got to share my opinions… Read more »

Four Things I Learned as a Campus Organizer

In less than two weeks, I will be graduating from college. I will listen to a lot of that Vitamin C song, toss my cap up in the air and cry over my student loans. In all seriousness, I have learned so much in the last four years; I can’t imagine who I would be today without being a campus organizer. From me to you, here are the top four things I learned from my experiences and my peers. 1)      It’s about being ORGANIZED! Having a plan is so essential to making change on campus. If you aren’t strategically planning for social change on your campus, then there are some obvious loopholes that will make the process unnecessarily longer. This isn’t just the big details either; this also includes the… Read more »

Seeking Justice for Victims while Dealing with an Unjust Prison System

Trigger warning: sexual and domestic violence I will be honest: I hate focusing on perpetrators of sexual assault. I like to focus my energy to make sure that the victim is working towards restoring themselves and that their needs are not ignored. At the same time, we have to think about perpetrators of sexual violence because without them, this issue wouldn’t exist. As a person who works in domestic violence, I often see the brutal effects of sexual violence on victims. I know personally, I struggle with the desire to dehumanize perpetrators of violence. When I hear about horrible violence, I want to send that perpetrator straight to prison.