Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: Texas

Is Campus Carry Safe for Everyone?

Starting August 1, exactly fifty years after the infamous shooting at the University of Texas, the state of Texas will begin implementing a new law commonly known as “Campus Carry.” Once this law is enforced, it will allow individuals with concealed handgun licenses to carry a concealed weapon on the property of any public university in the state of Texas. The university president of each school is in charge of developing the policies and guidelines that their campus will follow in regards to the new law. Students all over the state have been demonstrating how they feel about the new law being put into place (Remember last years’ protests, Cocks not Glocks?). There have been protests, petitions and various forums for students and faculty to share their opinions and concerns…. Read more »

Planned Parenthood Research Shows Our Worst Fears Coming True

Recently, two Texas researchers co-authored a study that said exactly what we already know — as Planned Parenthood centers crumble, so does access to healthcare. The study shows an increase in low-income women having children because they lack access to affordable healthcare. These findings could mean rises in unintended pregnancies that are carried to full term among low-income families in other states that defund Planned Parenthood. It also means people who are using birth control for medical reasons, such as to curb extremely painful periods, will not have  access to contraceptives anymore. It means people will not have access to affordable cancer screenings. It means our ability to make decisions with our bodies is, like we predicted, being taken away. Of course, as a result of this study, these researchers are dealing… Read more »

Strive for Honor? Texas Tech receives terrible sexual health rating

There are a lot of things that make me really proud to be a student at Texas Tech. The campus, traditions, sporting events and overall environment of the university make me proud to be a Red Raider. But recently, I was disappointed to find out that the university I am so proud of failed  the annual Trojan sexual health report card. Texas Tech was ranked 134 out of 140, this is a huge step back from 2014 when Tech was ranked 112. Many factors could contribute to this embarrassing ranking; the report might even be excluding Texas Tech’s new RISE office on campus. RISE stands for Risk Intervention and Safety Education and it has made a huge impact on the university. As a center for condom distribution,  sexual health facts, and… Read more »

On Family Politics After Marriage Equality

This week a lesbian couple in Utah had a child taken away from them in the foster care system because and placed with a heterosexual couple for the child’s well-being. There isn’t any evidence the couple was abusive or negligent to the child at this point. The couple passed the screening to be foster parents. The couple has been raising this child for three months and in a week she was taken away from them. This is not the first time a couple had to go through issues like this, there is a common stigma that gay and lesbian couples can’t raise children or that it is unhealthy for the child. Last summer the U.S. Supreme Court ruled gay marriage legal and it was a historic moment, but the next… Read more »

Houston Fails to Be a “HERO” for Trans Community

This week the city of Houston had the opportunity to make history in the Civil Rights movement with the HERO ordinance. The city failed to make these important strides forward with a 61 percent to 39 percent vote. The HERO Act stands for the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and it would have prohibited discrimination in public restrooms, thus allowing trans-people to use restrooms they are comfortable with based on their gender identity. I think it’s safe to say the failure behind this failed ordinance is rooted in transphobia. Opponents of the ordinance said it made women more vulnerable to predators and former Houston Astros player Lance Berkman said transgender women are troubled men in a radio ad. This negative attitude and ignorance toward the trans community is what causes crucial… Read more »

Anti-Choice Propaganda Hurts Texas

Monday, October 19th 2015, Texas decided to eliminate funding to Planned Parenthood. This is why I’m pissed off. Texas largely based this decision off of the highly-edited and misconstrued videos created by an anti-choice group. Seriously. The Texas government made a decision (that affects thousands of people) off of propaganda internet videos. In the statement issued by Governor Greg Abbott’s office, it mentions this in the very first line. Following the release of gruesome videos filmed at Planned Parenthood facilities, including Gulf Coast in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott announced his LIFE Initiative to provide greater protections for children in the womb and prevent the sale of baby body parts. Unfortunately, this isn’t an episode of The Twilight Zone; this is Texas politicizing women’s healthcare. (Planned Parenthood doesn’t solely focus on… Read more »

Everything is Bigger in Texas, Except for Abortion Access

In 2013, Texans, yet again, had to endure other people making decisions about our bodies for us. When I say for us, I don’t mean to benefit us, I mean taking the decision out of our hands and the right to our bodies away. Wendy Davis fought for Texans in her pink tennis shoes and famous filibuster, unfortunately, HB2 was still passed in Texas. All clinics were required to meet ambulatory surgical center standards and abortion doctors were required to have local hospital-admitting privileges. The local requirement means a hospital within 30 miles and Texas is huge. There are rural areas all over this state. In 2012 there were 41 clinics open, if HB2 becomes fully implemented, only ten clinics will remain. Ten. Let that sink in. Everything is supposed… Read more »

The battle for accurate history textbooks in Texas

View image | gettyimages.com Texas is often known for its political conservativeness; if you take a look at the bills that have been proposed during the 84th session of the Texas Legislature that began January 13 you see many examples of that. These bills include many attacks on reproductive justice. It is often forgotten though, just how important the power of testimony is when it comes to preventing some issues from making this far in legislation. In September of 2014 the State Board of Education (SBOE) held a public hearing to discuss possible changes that wanted to be made to Texas high school social studies textbooks. On the surface this doesn’t seem like that large of an issue, after all shouldn’t textbooks be updated with the most current and accurate… Read more »

Abortion Funding is a Blessing

By Alyssah Roth, West Fund Co-Founder and President   “WHAT A BLESSING!” “Thank you so much! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!” “I don’t know what I would have done without you.” These are some of the things patients tell me when I tell them that the West Fund can help them pay for their abortion. I cannot begin to explain how rewarding and fulfilling it is to be able to alleviate the desperation in someone’s voice when they call us asking for help. Sometimes, patients tell me that I am the only person they can talk to about it. But I don’t do this work because it makes me feel good (although it helps) — it’s much bigger than that. I do it because I believe… Read more »