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This week, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women is taking place. We asked the Girl Engagement Advisory Board to weigh in on what message they would share with world leaders during the CSW. Here’s what they said!

I’m here at the CSW and what I want to tell leaders and delegates and everyone is that while these sessions, panels, speakers are amazing! They’re inspirational, educating and just phenomenal, but they’re just not enough. We’re hear creating policy (hopefully) and change but we’re talking amongst people who are all fairly educated on these issues and though the fine details are the kinks and quirks, I want CHANGE TO HAPPEN. I may be young and impatient and “not understanding the workings of such things,” but I don’t want to be any other way, because girls are dying–both physically and in their “self-hood” every day because we aren’t doing enough. So…let’s do more! – Allison, 19, United States

My message to the world leaders currently negotiating at the CSW is not to let their own political agendas or opinions deter them from achieving the ultimate goal: ensuring that girls are well represented in the post 2015 development agenda. I find that many times, global leaders become myopic to their own initiatives and objectives and they forget about the issues of the people. We cannot allow for an opportunity where global leaders convene in one area to focus their capacities on one major global issues to be squandered. We mus therefore put our differences aside and use our skills and talents to resolve the matter at hand.  – Christal, 19, Jamaica

My message to world leaders negotiating the post 2015 development agenda is that it is extremely pertinent to discuss the issues girls are facing, especially the security problem which doesn’t allow girls to be as confident and independent as they want to be. However, the most important message that I’ll like to convey to the world leaders is that after all these discussions and the drafting up of solutions, implementation should be ensured because without the implementation of these policies, everything would stay theoretical. It’s necessary to involve governments and set up a certain framework for how these policies and solutions might be strictly implemented in society.Lastly, good luck to all those who are a part of this conference and are trying to make the world a better place! – Hamna, 17, Pakistan

Since the 1940’s, there has been a breakthrough in achieving gender equality and promoting women’s rights. However, this mainly happened in the west. In places like Africa and south Asia for example, women’s participation in work and education is still much less than that of men. Women have much less economic opportunities and are less likely to reach high holding positions in corporations. Although in developed countries like the US there is the issue of the “glass ceiling”, in developing countries the issue may be called the “diamond ceiling” because this is how hard it is for a woman to get a high position in these countries. This meeting is the crucial first step of breaking these ceilings and achieving goals like the post 2015 development agenda goals and the girl declaration goals. In addition, to sustain this progress, more international intervention is needed to stop the injustice happening in developing countries. This can only be done if countries stop looking only at their own economic benefits and start acting to end the violation of women and human rights, no matter the cost. – Mai, 16, Egypt

Gender equality and empowerment of women as one of the Millenium Development Goals is known worldwide. We, as the Girl Engagement Advisory Board, are tightly connected with it and our goals match with these of the MDG. My message to all of the people working on these problems is to give their best to achieve these goals, because they are not only mine and yours goals, they are world’s goals! If we don’t get involved and do something to change our future and the future of pur children and their children, I don’t see who will! And my message to the people who are afraid to raise their voices is not to be afraid anymore! We should get up and tell the everyone not what they wantto hear, but what they have to hear – that somebody will make a change and all of our efforts will have worth. – Preslava, Bulgaria, 19

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Anti-abortion lawmakers have come up with a new way to interfere with reproductive decision making. This time, a handful of senators snuck an abortion coverage ban into legislation designed to support survivors of human trafficking. Shameful.

Just like everyone else, trafficking survivors should have access to the full range of reproductive health services, including abortion care. Yet, due to the political maneuvering of anti-abortion senators, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 (S. 178) includes a provision that restricts abortion. Taking away someone’s ability to make the best decision for her circumstances isn’t “justice”.

We need you to take action NOW! Contact your senator and urge them to remove the abortion restriction from S. 178!

It’s no secret that some politicians in Washington are doing everything they can to make abortion unaffordable and inaccessible. Instead of providing access to safe and affordable medical care, anti-abortion senators are interfering with a trafficking survivor’s ability to get abortion care.

Tell your senator to stand with survivors of human trafficking by opposing this harmful restriction on abortion care!

When a woman needs to end her pregnancy, it’s important that she’s able to see a licensed, quality health provider. Let’s not let these politicians play games that jeopardize the health and well-being of those who need our support the most.


Tweet now!This bill should help trafficking survivors, instead it attacks women’s personal decision making http://bit.ly/1b2vxv5 #StriketheBan


leftOpponents of abortion decided to put an extreme restriction on abortion into bill about human trafficking. Don’t let them push their agenda. Trafficking survivors deserve to have all reproductive health options available to them. http://bit.ly/1b2vxv5 #StriketheBan #JVTA

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One of our partners, Mississippi Youth Council with Mississippi First, is working to improve sex education in their state and they need your help!

Download the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month sign and participate in the photo campaign.

Mississippi Youth Council (MYCouncil), a group of youth activists from across Mississippi who support comprehensive sex education and policies that improve the lives of young people, are telling Governor Bryant that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs are not enough for young people.

We need YOU to help spread the word.

Check out the email below to learn more about their photo campaign. And download the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month sign to participate!

To find more ways to get involved visit and “like” the MYCouncil Facebook page!

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: MYCouncil josh@mississippifirst.org

Date: Fri, Mar 6, 2015 at 2:06 PM

Subject: Activist ALERT

We need your HELP!

Help us tell Mississippi’s Governor, Phil Bryant, that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs are NOT good enough by participating in our photo campaign!

  1. Print off the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month sign and write your name, city, and what information you believe young people need and deserve that will help us protect ourselves from unplanned pregnancies and STDs. Click on the sign to download.
  2. Take a picture of yourself with your sign. 
  3. Text or email your photo to the MYCouncil member you know OR email it to MYCouncil’s coordinator, Josh McCawley, at josh@mississippifirst.org.

On March 18, MYCouncil will take all of your photos to the Governor’s office so that he will be able to see how many people want him to recognize the importance of providing better sex education in Mississippi!

Thank you for your help,



Tweet now!Tell @PhilBryantMS abstinence-until-marriage programs aren’t enough 4 young ppl. Join the campaign #PREPteens #TPPM http://ow.ly/KcOGG



leftGovernor Bryant believes abstinence-until-marriage programs that shame safer sex and don’t offer complete and accurate info are enough for young people. We need your help to spread the word that it’s NOT. Join the campaign and show the governor the faces of the people want better sex education in Mississippi! #PREPteens #TPPM http://ow.ly/KcOGG

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We at Advocates believe that young people have the right to accurate, age-appropriate, complete information about their sexual health. We also believe that they have the right to that information in whatever form they can get it.

Approximately 89% of young people credit the Internet as their primary source for sexual health information. So why are organizations that provide young people with tools to safeguard their health, being censored by big tech companies?

Tell Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Yahoo, and Google, to change their restrictive policies that prevent the promotion of effective sexual health messages.

Advocates for Youth knows first hand that when sexual health organizations purchase ads on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, they are often forced to water down their messages. Or worse, the ads are flat out rejected. Denying young people potentially life-saving information is stigmatizing, unethical, and harmful.

It’s time for these tech giants to stop contributing to the shame and stigma of surrounding youth and healthy sexuality. Young people have the right to access information and services to protect their sexual well-being, and that’s why we support this petition. Will you join us and sign today?


Tweet now!Tell tech giants to stop contributing to the shame & stigma of youth’s healthy sexuality. Sign this petition: http://chn.ge/1zYdYBV



leftIt’s time for these tech giants to stop contributing to the shame and stigma of surrounding youth and healthy sexuality. Young people have the right to access information and services to protect their sexual well-being, and that’s why we support this petition. Will you join us and sign today? http://chn.ge/1zYdYBV

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Advocates for Youth is proud to announce the release of the HIV prevention campaign, Testing Makes Us Stronger. The campaign is designed to aid youth-serving community-based organizations working with and for young Black men who have sex with men, to raise awareness of the importance of regular testing.

If you work as a health care provider or other youth-serving professional, you can get FREE posters and palm cards to help connect these young people to vital testing and learn more about how to prevent HIV. Visit Testing Makes Us Stronger and download or order materials today!

Thank you for your support as we continue to address HIV in the lives of young Black men.


Tweet now!Connect young ppl 2 vital testing & learn more abt preventing #HIV. Visit Testing Makes Us Stronger today! #TMUS2015 http://bit.ly/AFYStronger



leftHelp us connect young people to vital testing services they need and learn more about how they can prevent HIV. Visit Testing Makes Us Stronger and download or order materials today! #TMUS2015 http://bit.ly/AFYStronger

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Forty-two years after the Roe vs. Wade decision legalized abortion, attacks on access to safe abortion care are relentless, from state legislatures, to the media, to the very sidewalks outside family planning clinics. Today, Congress voted to pass H.R. 7, a bill that targets low income women by restricting insurance coverage of abortion.

Donate $7 to help us fight H.R. 7 and keep abortion safe and affordable for all women.

In this bleak environment, we need a new strategy–one that puts women’s real life abortion stories at the center of our national debate over women’s access to safe and affordable abortion care. Now more than ever before we need to elevate the stories of people from all walks of life who have had an abortion. We need to create real and lasting results by building a culture of compassion, empathy, and support for access to basic health care.

We need your help to make it happen. Donate $7 to help us fight H.R.7 and keep abortion safe and affordable for all women.

You can help end the stigma and shame women are made to feel about abortion. You can help ensure that everyone has access to safe abortion care.

Tweet now!Donate $7 to help us keep #abortion safe and affordable for the #1in3 women who will have one in her lifetime. http://bit.ly/Donate1in3


tweet-now-toutCongress voted to pass HR7, a bill that targets low income women by restricting insurance coverage of #abortion. We need a new strategy that puts women’s real life abortion stories at the center of our national debate.Donate $7 to help us keep abortion safe and affordable for all women. http://bit.ly/Donate1in3

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The 2015 National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD) Ambassador application is now open! Every year we mark April 10, as a day to educate and empower the public about the impact of HIV and AIDS on young people as well as highlight the amazing work young people are doing across the country to fight the HIV & AIDS epidemic.

Now is your chance to join a dynamic group of young leaders and activists who come together to promote treatment, care, and youth empowerment.

NYHAAD Ambassadors hold events on their campuses and in communities, promote NYHAAD through social media, art, blogs and videos and will collaborate with other Ambassadors and Advocates staff on materials and resources to make NYHAAD known throughout the country!

PS – Adults: please share this with two fantastic young people in your community!

The application deadline is Friday December 12th. Apply now!


Tweet now!Become a 2015 @YouthAIDSDay Ambassador & help raise awareness about the impact of #HIV & #AIDS on young ppl! http://bit.ly/ApplyNYHAAD #NYHAAD


tweet-now-tout The 2015 National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD) Youth Ambassador Application is now open! Now is your chance to join youth leaders and activists to raise awareness about the impact of HIV & AIDS on young people as well as highlight the amazing work young people are doing across the country to fight the HIV & AIDS epidemic. http://bit.ly/ApplyNYHAAD

Categories: HIV, NYHAAD, Uncategorized
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Last Thursday we were honored with 100 people who shared their experiences with abortion care.


That’s how many of you helped shatter the stigma around abortion care by tuning into the first ever online abortion speakout, including watch parties on 20 college campuses. 12 Million. That’s how many people we reached on Twitter, with our hashtag #1in3Speaks, helping to create a culture of empathy for access to abortion care.

I, and everyone here at the Advocates, thank you for your support.

The work is not over. Every day we have to continue to break through the political rhetoric, and put women’s real life experiences at the center of efforts to ensure safe and affordable access to abortion care for women and their families. Thursday was a big step in achieving that goal.

Thank you again and more BIG news from the Campaign is headed your way!

Tweet now!13,500 folks helped shatter the silence around abortion care by joining the #1in3Speaks Speakout. Thank you.


tweet-now-tout13,500 folks helped shatter the silence around abortion care by joining the #1in3Speaks abortion Speakout. A culture of empathy and support for access to abortion care starts with us.

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Yesterday, Colorado voters like you made your voice heard. Last night Colorado voters rejected Amendment 67 — which would ultimately have banned all abortions.

Congratulations to the hundreds of activists across the state who worked hard to make sure that women stay in control of their own health, lives, and futures.

You did it!

Tweet now!We did it! Yesterday, we showed out & voted NO on Amendment 67, protecting women’s access to reproductive care in Colorado! #VoteNO67


tweet-now-toutLast night Colorado voters rejected amendment 67 — which would have ultimately ban all abortions. Congrats to the youth activists across the state who worked tirelessly to make sure that women stay in control of their own health, lives and future!

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Elections are just six days away! Now is the time to make YOUR voice heard.

I’m asking you to make a commitment to yourself and your community — take the pledge to ShowOUT in 2014!

Elections matter – they are the time to show your support for the candidate that best represents your values and lived experiences. It’s a time to hold your elected officials accountable.

TAKE THE PLEDGE NOW to speak out, turn out and vote in 2014.

As young people, we have an incredible opportunity to make a huge impact in the political process and ultimately on the issues that matter most to us. Let’s make sure our voices are heard, and pledge to vote in this year’s midterm elections on Tuesday, November 4th.

It’s time to ShowOUT by speaking out, turning out and voting in 2014!

Hope to see you on election night,

Julia Reticker-Flynn

Associate Director, Youth Organizing and Mobilization

Advocates for Youth

P.S For more information about the Youth ShowOUT, please check out our 2014 Youth ShowOUT website!



Tweet now!Registered to vote? Pledge to speak out, turn out & show out this election day, Nov. 4th #YouthShowOut http://ow.ly/CkS5r



tweet-now-toutMake a commitment to yourself and your community this election day — pledge to speak out, turn out, & show out in 2014 #YouthShowOut http://ow.ly/CkS5r

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We were all shocked and angered by the Supreme Court’s decision that certain corporations can decide which birth control methods are covered under employees’ health insurance plans — a decision that could put birth control out of reach for millions of women.

But there’s still hope: the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been tasked with drafting new rules to carry out the decision. In other words, HHS has to figure out how women can access the contraception they need. Now, we’re working in partnership with Young Invincibles to make sure young people’s voices are heard.

Tell HHS you think all women should have access to birth control without a co-pay, no matter where they work or go to school!

Access to affordable contraception is key to financial security, health, and pursuing a career.

  • Without insurance, birth control can be expensive, often costing up to $600 a year! 55% of young women have reported not being able to consistently use prescription birth control because of cost.
  • 99% of all sexually active women use birth control at some point in their lives.
  • 1.5 million use birth control exclusively to treat or control medical issues, such as abnormal menstrual pain and bleeding and endometriosis.
  • Contraception is crucial because a woman’s ability to choose if and when to start a family often factors into deciding to attend college and pursue a career.

Tell Health and Human Services to get women the affordable contraception they need.

Tweet now!Tell @HHSGov all women should have access to #birthcontrol w/o co-pay no matter where they work/go to school http://ow.ly/Cl83t @YI_Care



tweet-now-toutThe Department of Health and Human Services should ensure that women can access the full range of recommended birth control methods from insurers, without a co-pay or other cost sharing, regardless of where they work or go to school.Tell them today! http://ow.ly/Cl83t

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Thank you. Because of your support, we are creating a world where all young people have the right to lead healthy (more…)

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You took action and the President heard you loud and clear. Thanks to your action, and (more…)

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It’s just wrong that hardworking and dedicated young people can be fired for being gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, or queer. For being who they are. These young people have no protection. No recourse.

We need our President to stand strong. And right now, he can make a big difference for thousands of LGBTQ federal employees and contractors. Join us in demanding that President Obama and his Administration do the right thing and sign executive orders protecting LGBTQ workers without needless exemptions that would open the door to discrimination.

With a swipe of his pen, President Obama’s executive orders will expand workplace protections for young people across the country. Current federal law already provides an exemption for houses of worship and religiously-affiliated organizations. Further exemptions are unnecessary and would dilute the protections the orders are seeking to provide for LGBTQ young people.

Mr. President, it’s time to stop surrendering the rights of young people.

Tweet now!.@WhiteHouse No more religious exemptions! #LGBTQ employees deserve protections, regardless of where they work. #ENDAEO #DearPOTUS

Tweet now!.@WhiteHouse #DearPOTUS, #LGBTQ young people believe in #equality, #freedom, and #justice. #ENDAEO

Tweet now!.@BarackObama you said ’now is the time to end this kind of discrimination, not enable it,’ Prove it, sign #ENDAEO. No more exemptions. #DearPOTUS

Tweet now!.@vj44 workplaces should be free from discrimination for all people, including #LGBTQ employees. Protect workers’ rights. #ENDAEO #DearPOTUS



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As activists from the U.S and around the world, will you stand in solidarity with your LGBT identified friends and peers on May 17?

My name is Urooj, and I lead Advocates for Youth’s efforts to help young people fight homophobia and transphobia around the globe. In too many countries, LGBTQ youth face discrimination that threatens their lives and their access to sexual and reproductive health and rights including access to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.

Recently, I was in Pakistan to meet with LGBTQ youth activists and allies. They shared with me heartbreaking stories of when they were rejected by their family, their community and harassed by the police. But what struck me most was their courage and love for each other. They are working hard to create a brighter future, and I am so honored to work alongside them.

On Give OUT Day donate $10 to help me raise $5,000 to support LGBTQ youth activists who are fighting harassment and life-threatening laws around the globe.

Advocates for Youth provides training and support around the world to keep the doors open at youth-led resource centers. These centers provide support and encouragement to LGBTQ youth, many of whom have nowhere else to turn in communities where it’s not safe to be who they are.

Donate $10 today and be an ally in places like Nigeria, Jamaica, Uganda and Pakistan where LGBTQ youth activists face intimidation and violence. Your gift today supports their work and lets them know they are not alone.

Tweet now!Donate $10 to @advocatestweets to let #LGBT youth activists around the globe know they are not alone #GiveOUTDay http://bit.ly/1ltZqVv


tweet-now-toutDonate $10 today and be an ally in places like Nigeria, Jamaica, Pakistan and Uganda where LGBT youth activists face intimidation and violence http://bit.ly/1ltZqVv

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Prom season is in full swing! Students across the country are reserving limos, renting tuxes, and posing for those classically awkward photos for their parents. But while we’re enjoying the glamour, let’s not forget safety! It’s always better to protect ourselves – and our partners – and these images are a reminder to do it in style. #promswag!

Share on FacebookIt’s always better to protect ourselves – and our partners – and these images are a reminder to do it in style. #PromSwag. http://bit.ly/PromSwag

tweet-now-toutProtect yourself and your partner while getting your #PromSwag on http://bit.ly/PromSwag #safersex

abstinence #promswag
condoms #promswag
condoms #promswag
patch #promswag
pill #promswag

Show your love for contraception methods, while getting your prom glam on.

Share on FacebookIt’s always better to protect ourselves – and our partners – and these images are a reminder to do it in style. #PromSwag. http://bit.ly/PromSwag

tweet-now-toutProtect yourself and your partner while getting your #PromSwag on http://bit.ly/PromSwag #safersex

Keep calm, and Prom on.

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Should corporations be given a free pass to discriminate against their employees?

That’s what the Supreme Court will be deciding on March 25 when they will hear cases from two corporations that object to providing insurance which includes coverage for birth control.

Be a part of an online picket line. Make your voice heard on our #DearSCOTUS Digital Soapbox.

Share your thoughts about why affordable and available contraception is important, what you think about the co-opting of religious liberty, and what’s at stake for you. Through your blogs, Instagram pics and video, YouTube clips and tweets we’ll capture an online picket line in solidarity with those protesting at the Supreme Court. All you have to do is use the hashtag #DearSCOTUS. So make a sign, record a video, or write a blog and join the protest.

We all know how important access to birth control is for young people. It’s basic health care, that we have already fought for and won. But this case means more than just birth control pills.

If the Supreme Court decides that corporations have a right to discriminate based on their owner’s religious beliefs, that would mean they have a “free pass” to discriminate against anyone they chose, and any medical treatment they didn’t agree with. Anyone. Anything.

That means: LGBTQ individuals who want partnership benefits. Gone. HIV screening or STI counseling. No. Maternity care. You can’t have that. Immunizations before college. No way.

Show the world that young people won’t stand for our country to roll back the clock on rights and liberties.

Stand in solidarity with protestors and join the online picket line at #DearSCOTUS Digital Soapbox.

You can get started by taking a picture with this sign and tweeting it to @amplifytweets using the #DearSCOTUS hashtag.


Tweet now!Should corporations get a free pass to discriminate against employees? No. Make ur voice heard on #DearSCOTUS http://bit.ly/DearSCOTUS



tweet-now-toutI’m not going to stand for our country to roll back the clock on rights and liberties. I stand in solidarity with protestors and joining the online picket line at #DearSCOTUS http://bit.ly/DearSCOTUS

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Hey. Have we met? Never mind, you probably wouldn’t know if we had. My name is Trichomoniasis but I go by Trich. I’m a tiny parasite (not that size matters) and a sexually transmitted infection. I can cause some discharge, a burning sensation, and I can also increase your risk for HIV and other STIs! What can I say, I’m a multitasker.

Problem is, most folks have never heard of me – but that’s cool ‘cause Advocates for Youth and the American Sexual Health Association are working to change that.

Won’t you share out my dating profile on Facebook so folks learn all about me?

Wearing a condom can help keep me away. I’m easy to find with a simple test, and a quick dose of antibiotics will send me packing. I wanted to keep all that on the low, but youth activists with the Great American Condom Campaign are working to raise my profile on their campuses and to ensure that their schools offer testing for trich to students. They also got some pretty sweet materials that have my face all over them, and all my stats.

So share my dating profile, and help get my name out there. Visit my new site to learn more. And if you’re interested in promoting trich awareness on your campus, contact my bro ariel@advocatesforyouth.org.



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Show your love for safe access to abortion care with this #1in3Valentine and send a valentine to a friend for just $1!

There are four adorable and affirming designs to choose from. Check out the 1 in 3 facebook album to see and share them all!


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Today in our Champions of Fierceness series, we honor Blessed!

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Today in our Champions of Fierceness series, we honor YouthResource!

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Great news! Thanks to outcry from amazing pro-choice advocates like you, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has rescinded their “emergency” regulations that would have closed all five abortion clinics in the state. This is a fantastic victory, and it wouldn’t have been possible without Louisianans like you standing up and speaking out.

But we’re not out of the woods yet. DHH has stated that they’ll be reissuing new regulations, so we have to keep the pressure on.

Like the 1 in 3 Campaign and New Orleans Abortion Fund on Facebook for all the updates and ways you can take action.

Want to celebrate while still keeping DHH’s feet to the fire? Join the rally today in Baton Rouge! Pro-choice advocates will be rallying to celebrate this exciting victory, and organizing for future action. Be sure to wear purple!

Rally details:
12:15 pm
State Library
701 N. 4th Street (between Spanish Town Rd and North St)
Baton Rouge

Thank you for all you’ve done to make this possible!

Tweet now!Great news: @La_Health_Dept dropped #abortion clinic-closing regulations! But the fight’s not over. #ff @nolaAbortionFnd 4 more #TRAPNOLA


tweet-now-toutGreat news – The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals rescinded regulations that would have closed all of the state’s abortion clinics! We have to keep the pressure on though – like 1 in 3 Campaign (http://on.fb.me/1eQwroJ) and New Orleans Abortion Fund (http://on.fb.me/1ev7P8F) for updates and actions!

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This is urgent! The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is trying to pass regulations that would forcibly shut down ALL 5 abortion clinics in the state. There’s a public hearing next week – and they need to hear from you that this is WRONG for Louisiana women and families.

Tell the Department of Health and Hospitals: Don’t pass unnecessary regulations to close our clinics!

The “emergency” regulations mandate that a woman must have a blood test at least 30 days(!) prior to accessing abortion care, which would jeopardize patients’ health and dramatically increase the cost of the procedure. These regulations also place targeted restrictions on abortion providers, implementing cumbersome licensing requirements for clinics, and arbitrary square footage requirements dictating the size of clinic.

The Department of Health and Hospitals has stated that it will rescind the blood test requirement but they have yet to release these updated regulations to the public. We must keep the pressure on to make sure they do strike it, along with every other unnecessary regulation that reduces access.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has opened a public comment period, and they need to hear from you by 7pm on Monday.

Tell the Department of Health and Hospitals to revise these policies and to put Louisiana women first.

If you’re free Tuesday, February 4th you can attend the hearing and share your testimony in person. Join the New Orleans Abortion Fund at 1:00 pm to show that a strong community is fighting back. If you go, be sure to wear purple to show that you’re against the clinic closures.

The location is:

Bienville Building, Room 173
628 North 4th Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

It’s time to stand up for abortion access in your community. Make sure your voice is heard.

Sign the Petition

Tweet now!Don’t let @LA_Health_Dept regulate La. #abortion clinics out of existence. Speak up: don’t close our clinics! http://bit.ly/1jKOkN4



tweet-now-toutThe Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is trying to pass regulations that would forcibly shut down ALL 5 abortion clinics in Louisiana. There’s a public hearing next week – and they need to hear from all of us that this is WRONG for Louisiana women and families. Sign the petition and make sure our voices are heard: http://bit.ly/1jKOkN4

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While I was in high school, I got into my first serious relationship. Before I even realized what was happening, I found myself in an emotionally abusive situation I sometimes wonder, if maybe my school had actually answered my questions about same sex relationships instead of giving me blank stares and “you’re going to hell” rants, if I could’ve picked out the red flags.

Luckily, a teacher went out of their way and taught me that a healthy relationship has both consent and respect. This information and the support of my teacher is what allowed me to walk away from this cycle of abuse.

All youth, including LGBTQ youth, deserve an inclusive sex ed curriculum that teaches them how to stay safe, form healthy relationships, and protect themselves from STIs. Sign the petition to help me fight for it.

In just 16 hours, I and my youth group the Broward County Youth Council, will advocate in front of the Broward County School Board for the Family Life and Human Sexuality Policy. This new sex education policy will finally bring sex education to Broward County that is honest, accurate, and inclusive of LGBTQ youth. We need your voice to help us make a bigger impact.

Sign the petition to urge the Broward County School Board to put the policy to a vote and please share it with a friend.

Thank you for your help,

Gabi Ovalles
Broward County Youth Council
Advocates for Youth

Sign the Petition


Tweet now!@browardschools Young ppl have the right to comp #sexed. I signed @AmplifyTweets petition to put the policy to a vote. http://bit.ly/1ebP8XA


tweet-now-tout I’m joining the Broward County Youth Council in their fight for a new comp sex ed policy that is honest, accurate and inclusive of LGBTQ youth. You can too, sign the petition. http://bit.ly/1ebP8XA

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Advocates is committed to securing the sexual health and rights for all young people domestically and abroad. We’ve worked with youth-led organizations in Nigeria, Uganda and Pakistan to support LGBTQ youth activist councils that advocate for programs and policies to improve youth sexual health. The choir of voices in the international LGBTQ movement is growing, but we need help. Your help.

Help us raise the profile of the needs and rights of international LGBTQ youth, and support youth as leaders to improve LGBTQ health and rights policy by voting for us in the Making All Voices Count Global Innovation Competition!

In too many countries around the globe LGBTQ youth face discrimination that threatens their lives and their access to sexual and reproductive health care.

If we win this competition (and we hope we do), we’ll get the funds necessary to provide training, capacity building, and seed grants to youth-led LGBTQ groups to support their advocacy, public outreach, and mobilization efforts towards advancing LGBTQ youth sexual and reproductive health and rights locally and globally.

Take a moment to vote for us. Currently we’re #106 (out of 196), but with your help we can get to the top!

Thank you. Your support makes our work possible and there is no way we could do it without you.

Urooj Arshad
Advocates for Youth
Associate director, International Youth Health and Rights

Tweet now!With your VOTE you can help @AdvocatesTweets amplify international #LGBTQ voices for human rights! http://bit.ly/1gmLysW


tweet-now-toutHelp Advocates for Youth empower international LGBTQ young people to advocate for their own sexual and reproductive health and rights in partnership with local youth-led LGBTW groups. VOTE TODAY! http://bit.ly/1gmLysW

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My name is Blessed, and I lead Advocates for Youth’s efforts to help young people fight homophobia and transphobia in Uganda. In too many countries around the globe, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth face discrimination that threatens our lives, dims our spirits and prevents our access to life-saving sexual and reproductive health care and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. Just this past Friday, the Ugandan parliament passed a terrifying anti-homosexuality bill that will cause further harm to the dignity and safety of LGBT people in my country.

Because of my sexuality, I was kicked out of my home when I was 17. I was homeless for two years while I washed people’s clothes and cars to earn money for my studies. Not too long ago, a mentor helped me find Advocates for Youth and now I have the chance to travel to the U.S. to learn organizing skills that are desperately needed here in Uganda. Now I meet with officials at the State Department and on Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of the young people in my country. Now I have found community- all because of Advocates for Youth.

Donate $10 today to help raise $5,000 to support LGBT youth activists like me who are fighting harassment and life-threatening laws around the globe. Donate today and you can be an ally in places like Nigeria, Jamaica and here in Uganda where LGBT youth activists face intimidation, imprisonment or worse.

Advocates for Youth provides training and funding to organizations overseas who bravely keep their doors open to provide support and encouragement to LGBT youth, because it is not safe to be who they are.

Donate today to support youth activists like me who put our lives on the line all year long. Your gift today supports our work and lets us know we are not alone.

With thanks for your activism and support all year long,

Blessed Abrams

Ugandan Activist

Advocates for Youth




Tweet now!#LGBT youth activists face intimidation, imprisonment or worse. Donate $10 to @advocatestweets to help them fight http://bit.ly/18ygFCx



tweet-now-toutDonate $10 today and you can be an ally in places like Nigeria, Jamaica and Uganda where LGBT youth activists face intimidation, imprisonment or worse. http://bit.ly/18ygFCx

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When I was a junior in high school, I wrote a paper on abortion for health class. It was a whopping 14 pages long. Some of my classmates were weirded-out that I was so into the topic; I got a few negative comments. But my friends and my mom were really supportive. I got an A on the paper :)

I believed then, as I believe now, that a woman should have a choice, and that abortion should be one option provided within comprehensive sexual health services. I also believe that no one has the right to take that choice away, which is why I fought so hard to mobilize my community in Albuquerque to vote against the proposed 20-week ban.

Donate $10 today to help raise $1,500 to cover the cost to train and equip a young activist like me working to fight for the values we all share.

Lucky for me, just a few months prior I joined Advocates’ 1 in 3 Campaign as a campus activist. The skills and training I learned from the Campaign prepared me for the hard fight in Albuquerque. Extremists flooded millions of dollars into my community to pass the ban that would deny women access to legal abortion care. They thought they knew what is “best” for Albuquerque women. They thought they were going to win. They were wrong.

I knew Albuquerque couldn’t let this ban pass. The 1 in 3 Campaign gave me a reason to keep going. I jumped in with get out the vote efforts. I spoke to people on my campus, made phone calls, and even wrote a letter to the editor in my school newspaper. With the help of Advocates and other groups on the ground, the ban was defeated! It was an exciting victory.

I know anti-abortion activists will keep coming up with new ways to deny women. Your $10 donation will help train organizers on the ground nationwide, reach new audiences and mobilize our activists to speak out.

Together we can create a culture of compassion, empathy, and support for access to basic health care.

Alyssa Jackson

1 in 3 Campus Activist

Advocates for Youth



Tweet now!Anti-abortion activists keep coming up w new ways to deny women. Donate $10 to help @advocatestweets mobilize http://bit.ly/14LfBWg



tweet-now-toutI know anti-abortion activists will keep coming up with new ways to deny women. Your $10 donation will help train organizers on the ground nationwide, reach new audiences and mobilize our activists to speak out. http://bit.ly/14LfBWg

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Last spring, I got a letter from Boston College administration threatening me and my student group BC Students for Sexual Health with disciplinary action for distributing condoms and safer sex information to help my peers prevent STIs, HIV and unintended pregnancy.

When our story gained media attention and appeared on CNN, the NY Times and more, conservative activists tried to intimidate me into stopping by personally insulting me. I received a handwritten note calling me an outspoken slut. One news outlet even tracked down my father and harassed him with hurtful phone calls.

Because of the advocacy training and the personal support I received from Advocates for Youth, I was able to turn degrading personal attacks into a progressive victory. We didn’t back down, and BC Students for Sexual Health still operates on campus today, providing lifesaving information and resources to our peers. Will you stand by them and make a $25 donation today?

There are many places across the country where young people’s health and rights are being trampled. But there are also many more young activists like me making a difference in our communities and just need the training, materials and support Advocates for Youth provides.

Please make a $25 donation today. Advocates for Youth uniquely combines the crucial need for better sexual health programs with the hope and the power of youth voices.

Thank you for supporting Advocates, just like they supported me.

Lizzie Jekanowski

Boston College Student Activist

Advocates for Youth

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Celebrate #GivingTuesday with Advocates’ Y-FAB team! Join the national day of giving, spare $5 if you can to cover the cost of training and equipping a young activist like YOU at Urban Retreat. Check out below what Y-FAB is thankful for.

Eric – I am thankful to be a sexual health/reproductive rights activist because I have an excuse to give condoms to everyone!

Erin – I am thankful that now I can stay on parent’s health insurance until I’m 26; meaning birth control, STD testing, and services that protect my lady parts are now accessible to me. #relieved #win

Renee  – I’m thankful because I have the knowledge to make informed decisions regarding my future

Molly – I’m thankful to be a sexual health/reproductive rights activists because I’m learning how to start real conversations about sexual and reproductive health with my peers.

 Thanks for your donation!

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The holidays are upon us, and for many of us that means:  lots of family time!  And when you’re about that  “activist committed to ensuring young people’s reproductive and sexual health and rights” life, the holidays can be….awkward.  But you don’t care, because you’re dedicated and passionate, and that’s what we love about you!

Here are our Top 7 Activist Holiday Moments:

1)  Your mom is getting the giblets out of the turkey and you are like “That reminds me! I wanted to talk to everyone about getting regular gyno exams and pap smears!”

Everyone is like, because giblets. We get it:

snape-is-disappointed (1)

 Try this instead: Scarleteen: What to expect on your first gynecologist visit 

2) They send you to the grocery store for green beans. You come back and say, “I checked the shelves in the pharmacy section and yes! They did have Plan B on the shelves! Finally!”*

*Also, you forgot the green beans. Great work

Try this instead:  Learn more about emergency contraception at The Emergency Contraception Website

3) The power of organizing! You come to the dinner table with 1,000 signatures demanding urging your mom to stop serving brussel sprouts for dinner!
Your mom is like: 


You had to try though right


Try this instead: For advice on targeting your efforts for maximum effectiveness, check out Advocates’ Youth Activist’s Toolkit for more organizing tips

 4) Somebody asks why turkey makes you sleepy, and somebody else explains about tryptefan. You take this opportunity to educate folks about trichomoniasis, a lesser-known but still gnarly sexually transmitted disease! 

Try this instead: Learn more about trichomoniasis and how to prevent it 

5) While folks are watching football, you say: “It’s so great that even the NFL is gradually becoming more accepting of LGBT people! Personally I know we as a family would be super accepting of anyone who wanted to come out today! Anyone! Anyone?”


It’s sweet that you’re so excited

Try this instead: Here are some tips for folks who  want to come out: 
I think I might be Gay / Lesbian / Bisexual / Transgender
…And for those who want to support someone coming out:  PFLAG Coming Out Help for Families, Friends, and Allies


6) Your aunt announces that there is pumpkin pie, apple pie, and sweet potato pie for dessert. You say, “OMG! Those would be amazing condom flavors!”

And everyone is like:

But you’re like:

Try this instead: Sounds like you should join the Great American Condom Campaign! 

7) Everyone ‘round the table says they’re thankful for. You say: I’m thankful for my friends, my family, and my community of amazing youth activists who are working to changing the world!

And then it’s time to eat!




Shine on, you activist diamonds.  Best holiday wishes to you and yours!

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Keziyah, a youth activist with YouthResource, has written an amazing op-ed for The Advocate, on the harassment of transgender young people by anti-trans activists:

“In other words, the Pacific Justice Institute, international media outlets that carried the story sans fact checking, and antitrans people who have outed her and called for her death are essentially engaging in large-scale bullying.”

Check it out!

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Each year over 120 youth activists gather in Washington, D.C. to share expertise with one another and Advocates for Youth staff; learn about the latest findings and legislation that affect reproductive health; participate in trainings; and make a commitment to be lifelong advocates for young people’s reproductive and sexual health and rights. Then they head to Capitol Hill to educate their representatives on why comprehensive sexual health education is so important for young people.

Thank you to our coalition partners for sponsoring Advocates for Youth’s 14th annual Urban Retreat!

Ally Level:

ANSIRH | Human Rights CampaignNational Latina Institute for Reproductive JusticeReligious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Champion Level:

IPAS | NARAL Pro-Choice New York

Hero Level:

Planned Parenthood Federation of America


This year, the groups attending the Urban Retreat include:

1 in 3 Organizers. These college students attend a special pre-conference where they will learn how to support abortion rights through sharing women’s stories.

State Youth Activist Councils from Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, and Texas. Working with partner organizations, these groups of young people will motivate for comprehensive sex education and other important youth rights at the state and community level.

Campus Organizers. These students at colleges and universities organize their fellow college students to work for youth reproductive and sexual health and rights.

International Youth Speak Out:   This project consists of young people and youth-led NGOs in low and middle income countries, advocating for programs and policies that will improve youth reproductive and sexual health in their countries and internationally.

International GLBT Health and Rights advocates work for the rights of LGBT people in their home countries.

International Youth Leadership Council members are US-based college students who advocate on behalf of young people in low and middle income countries.

Young Men’s Project members are young male leaders and activists who seek to engage and mobilize their peers on issues related to sexual and reproductive health.

Young Women of Color Leadership Council members advocate for HIV prevention and reproductive justice and the inclusion of young women of color in prevention programs.

YouthResource members advocate for LGBT rights in their communities and provide peer education and support to LGBT young people.

It’s a diverse gathering, but these young people all have one thing in common: they are fierce, motivated activists working hard to make youth voices heard!


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Just yesterday, the Supreme Court of El Salvador handed a young woman a death sentence by denying Beatriz “permission” for an abortion needed to save her life.

Beatriz is 22. The mother of a 1-year old boy. She has lupus. Kidney malfunction. And her doctors say she will likely die if the pregnancy continues. But, there is still hope for Beatriz.

Beatriz needs your help.


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The countdown to National Youth HIV and AIDS Day has begun!  If you’re in DC, check out the briefing on Capitol Hill tomorrow!


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UPDATE:  VICTORY!  Last week, James and other activists in Texas met with their policy makers to protest the Zedler 1 anti-gay amendment, including delivering your signatures in person to Texas’ legislature.  And on Thursday 4/4, the amendment was withdrawn.  We got them off our backpacks and funding for the centers is safe.  Great job!

This is a featured post from Texas Freedom Network Student Chapter President James Lee!

My name is James Lee and growing up in Rio Grande Valley Texas, I was taught that being gay was wrong. I believed something was wrong with me because I was gay. It wasn’t until I stepped into my college resource center and found other students like me that I finally found peace with myself. The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Resource Center at the University of Houston changed my life.

Now one Texas Representative wants to take that center away, and all of the other LGBT resource centers that help thousands of young people each year at Texas’ universities. Sign a petition to help protect LGBT resource centers in Texas!

Texas Representative Bill Zedler introduced an Amendment to eliminate state funding for LGBT Resource Centers like the one that created a safe space for me and my friends to come out. The Zedler 1 Amendment would not only remove state funding for LGBT Resource Centers but would also eliminate state funding for Women’s Centers and ALL Gender & Sexuality Centers at Texas universities.

In the week leading up to National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day, and in an effort to build an AIDS free generation we must continue to support LGBT Center and Women’s Centers that provide critical health services. I am asking all students, youth, alumni, and concerned citizens to contact the state legislators to vote no on the Zedler 1 amendment. Tell Texas legislators to stop harming students and get off our backpacks!

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nyhaad1000emailHere’s something you may not have known. Every month 1,000 young people acquire HIV. Every month.

It’s time to take action and invest in young people – their health, their education, and their leadership – so we can truly reach an AIDS-free generation!

Join us for the FIRST EVER National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD) on April 10! Let’s acknowledge young people’s great work fighting this epidemic, and hold our leaders accountable to prioritizing young people in the fight against HIV & AIDS.


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In honor of National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day, we asked abortion providers to describe their experiences and why they do the work they do.  Show a provider your appreciation today.

Thirty percent of women will have an abortion by the time they are 45. Thirty percent. That means that two or three of the nine ob/gyns in my residency class will have obtained an abortion during their reproductive lives. They will be joined by 4,000 undergraduate students at the University of Maryland, my alma mater. Unfortunately, 87 percent of U.S. counties have no abortion provider. So where are all of my residency and college classmates going to obtain this safe, legal, and clearly very common procedure? They’re coming to me, and the future abortion providers I train.

I decided to become an abortion provider after volunteering at the University of Maryland Women’s Health clinic. A classmate with an unintended pregnancy came in and asked where she could get an abortion, and I had no clue where to send her. I then learned the staggering statistic about the number of U.S. counties with no provider, and vowed not only to become a provider, but to train others to provide as well. This is the only way I can ensure that my residency and college classmates have a compassionate medical professional to turn to during one of the most vulnerable times in their lives, and that their daughters and granddaughters will as well. I am proud to be one of today’s abortion providers, and to train our providers of tomorrow.

Rachel Rapkin, MD – Pittsburgh, PA

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Natasha from India, on why International Women’s Day is important.

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Since we posted this last week, there has been some good news. Thanks to outcry from around the world, action on the anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda’s parliament has been postponed at least until February. And, Uganda’s President Museveni has spoken out against the bill’s call for the death penalty.

There is still much work to be done – Uganda remains very dangerous for LGBT people and for activists working on these issues. But with commitment and effort, we can all help to make it safer. We’ll keep you updated on developments in the new year. Help us continue our work in Uganda and around the world – donate today.


In Uganda, a terrifying “anti-homosexuality” bill has resurfaced within parliament for discussion. At its worst, it would call for putting LGBT people to death.

In addition, it would demand a three-year prison sentence for people who do not turn in “known homosexuals” to the police, and a seven year sentence for “aiding and abating” homosexuality.

When the bill was last introduced, human rights and LGBT rights groups were horrified, and many governments condemned it. Pressure from around the globe led to its never being voted on. We need to put that pressure on again NOW.

  • Let Uganda’s parliament and the world know you join with the millions who condemn this bill by tweeting about it today. 
  • Then sign a petition urging Uganda’s President to veto the bill if it passes.

Activists on the ground recommend we keep it civil so our message is heard  – here’s a sample tweet: Prime Minister @AmamaMbabazi will you speak out against Uganda’s dangerous Anti-Homosexuality Bill today? Lives depend on it! #stopthehate

Let young LGBT people in Uganda know you support them and ask Uganda’s prime minister to speak out against the bill today. Tweet and sign the petition.

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Great op-ed by Advocates board member and IYLC member Meredith in the Global Post!

Half of the world’s population is under 30 years old, and these youth comprise the most well-informed and well-connected generation the world has ever known.

We have the fortune of joining nearly 1,000 of these youth in Bali, Indonesia this week – not sightseeing, but formulating the international development agenda for the future.

Read the article

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This week,  several Advocates staff and youth activists are at the ICPD Global Youth Forum.  We had to share this recap that Advocates’ Director of Public Policy Janine Kossen sent to staff!

Hi all,

I just wanted to let you know that International Youth Leadership Council member Meredith was ah-mazing at the Global Youth Forum this morning (last night for you all). If you don’t know, she was chosen among thousands of youth applicants to be the youth respondent for a plenary session, sitting right next to the Indonesian Minister of Health! I mean, you can’t get much fancier than that! And she really did knock it out of the park. Tons of folks on the #icpdyouth twitterverse raved about her speech, hundreds of young people applauded her every word, and she was clearly the star of the plenary.

Meanwhile, we have a strong delegation of 11 Advocates-affiliated folks here, counting Meredith, Kike and Tope from Nigeria, Abongwa and Gaston from Cameroon, Liz (former IYLC, now with USAID), and staff and board. From youth respondents to virtual facilitators to steering committee members to rock star delegates, Advocates is really visible here thanks to all our amazing youth activists. And, it’s just day ONE so there’s lots more visibility to come. Stay tuned and check out live feeds (remember it is +13 hours time difference here).

And just to reiterate what the Global Youth Forum is, it’s a pretty damn big deal. It is sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Government of Indonesia and is the first-ever forum asking young people what they recommend to be included in the United Nations next development agenda that will set the stage for international policy for the next 20 years. If you’ve ever heard of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), this would influence the next round of goals that will apply to all 193 UN Member States. And it also sets the stage for all the UN negotiations that will impact international policy for years to come. Kind of a big deal! To learn more, go here  and here.

And, check out @amplifytweets for a record of the panel’s remarks!

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Applications for the Spring 2013 Great American Condom Campaign are open!

Friends, we are once again searching for the most bold and visionary college students from around the United States to receive five hundred Trojan Brand condoms to distribute on their college campuses.

We select one-thousand SafeSites every semester to participate in this nation-wide youth-led grassroots movement to make the United States a sexually healthy nation. Each year, GACC members give out one million Trojan Brand condoms on college campuses across the United States, educate their peers about sexual health, and organize to improve the policies that affect young people’s health and lives.

What kind of ingenious plans will you come up with to distribute them this time? Condom lollipops? Condom scavenger hunt? Condom raffle tickets? Condom demonstration flash mob? Dress up as a giant chicken/duck/goose/platypus laying plastic eggs filled with condoms, candy and fun facts in strategic areas to welcome the spring? THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!

The application deadline is December 31st and it only takes about 10 minutes to fill out. Apply now!

Do it for your country.
PS – Check out the GACC Facebook page to learn more and see the amazing ways SafeSites are distributing condoms, educating, and organizing.

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About World AIDS Day

Getting to Zero: What will it take to get to an AIDS Free Generation?
Each year, December 1 marks World AIDS Day, when activists around the world come together to raise awareness of the global HIV epidemic, fight stigma and discrimination, and advocate for increased efforts to support comprehensive HIV education and prevention.

The ongoing theme of “Getting to Zero,” supported by UNAIDS’ multi-year HIV/AIDS strategy for Zero New Infections, Zero AIDS Related Deaths, and Zero Discrimination, is an opportunity for young people to speak out about how to get to an AIDS Free Generation. Thirty years into the epidemic, we are seeing notable declines in HIV prevalence among young people, as described in the recent UNAIDS report, Results. This is fabulous news! At the same time, our efforts to prevent HIV must not falter when 40 percent of all new HIV infections are still among youth age 15-24. According to the report: “Young people are a fulcrum. They remain at the centre of the epidemic and they have the power, through their leadership, to definitively change the course of the AIDS epidemic.” It goes on to urge young people to engage in and lead the fight against HIV.
To find out more about World AIDS Day, go to http://www.worldaidscampaign.org/world-aids-day/

To read the new UNAIDS report, go to: http://www.unaids.org/en/media/unaids/contentassets/documents/epidemiology/2012/gr2012/JC2434_WorldAIDSday_results_en.pdf.


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The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists today called for hormonal birth control medication to be made available over-the-counter, without a prescription.

It makes sense  – hormonal BC does meet the requirements for a switch to OTC status: “For a medicine to be granted OTC status, it must have a wide safety margin and be effective, and must bear understandable labeling to ensure proper use.” – Check, check, and doable.   Birth control is extremely safe.  Depending on the method, it is up to 99 percent effective when used consistently and correctly.  And like most medications it is or can easily be made to be, clearly labeled.

Over-the-counter status would  remove the barrier of a visit to their health care provider for many young people and allow them to purchase it as conveniently as condoms.

The only potential drawback is that with the mandate that insurance cover birth control with no co-pay, it is as yet unclear how insurance will deal with contraception that is available over the counter.  But it’s very clear that the more tools young people have to prevent unwanted pregnancy, the better. Let’s keep moving toward eliminating ALL barriers to contraception.

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A woman in Ireland has died because doctors refused to treat her miscarriage.

Savita Halappanavar didn’t come to the hospital for an abortion; she was experiencing a miscarriage. Doctors had told her the baby would not survive.

Then, several times in the three days while she miscarried in extreme pain, they told her they couldn’t take any further steps to end the pregnancy.  They had to let the miscarriage happen in its own time, no matter how badly it hurt her.

With her cervix fully dilated for so long, the woman was very susceptible to infection, and she died a week after entering the hospital.

Yet by law in Ireland a woman has the right to an abortion if her life is in danger.  How did this happen?  From Salon:

…in a chilling climate where religious belief takes precedent over women’s health, where any choice to abort can be challenged and punished, whose interests are doctors going to protect?

When abortion is stigmatized and condemned without context, when anti-abortion activists elevate the needs and rights of the fetus over those of the woman and make their personal religious beliefs into law, we end up with a chain of events where, for no reason any person with a shred of humanity can fathom, a woman is left to die because doctors can still detect a heartbeat in a fetus they already knew wouldn’t survive.  A woman’s life was sacrificed so that a pregnancy that everyone knew was doomed could go on for an additional three days.

Perhaps in a less “pro-life” culture globally, women would be trusted to make their own decisions about pregnancy.  Then, 21.6 million women around the world wouldn’t face injury and death each year.  Doctors wouldn’t face harassment and violence when they attempt to perform legal medical procedures (nor women when they seek them).  Women wouldn’t listen in astonishment as each day a new politician weighs in that a pregnancy from rape is a gift from God that also doesn’t actually happen  but either way certainly can’t be aborted.

Perhaps in a less “pro-life” culture, Savita Halappanavar would still be alive.


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This summer, during the International AIDS Conference, youth activists from across the country called on the President to establish the first ever National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day.

The road to an AIDS-free generation begins by prioritizing youth. Today’s young people are the first generation that has never known a world without HIV and AIDS. In the United States, almost 40% of new HIV infections are young people ages 13 to 29. Despite this harsh reality, young people and their allies are determined to end this pandemic once and for all.

Join us in calling on President Obama to recognize the National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day!

National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day is a nationwide call to action for our communities, schools and government to invest in young people’s health, education, and leadership in the fight against HIV & AIDS.

To achieve this day, we need you.  Sign the petition – as either an individual or an organization – that calls on President Obama, Congress, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the HIV & AIDS community to annually recognize April 10 as National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day.

Take action now for a National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day!

With your support, we can achieve the dream of an AIDS-free generation.

For young people between the ages of 13 and 24 who are passionate about HIV & AIDS work, apply today to become a National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day Ambassador.  Help us make sure the day truly represents young people like you! Applications are due November 30. For more information, click here.

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Check out this entry on Huff Post by Advocates for Youth’s own fantastic Youth Activist Network Coordinator, Ian O’Brien (also known as amplify user AFY_Ian)! It features an interview with GACC safesite Jeremiah at St. John’s University in New York!

Trojan Sexual Health Report Card Sparks Action


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by Deb Hauser
President, Advocates for Youth

Advocates for Youth congratulates President Barack Obama on his historic reelection. We also celebrate the amazing role that young people played within his administration and his reelection, and we recognize the growing power of youth to drive social and cultural change for a better world. Young people represented approximately 19 percent of the electorate yesterday—a larger percentage even than in 2008!

In the years ahead, we call on President Obama to stand with us in recognition of every young person’s right to honest sexual health education, safe and affordable sexual health services, and an equity of social, educational, and economic opportunity – the type of opportunity that builds healthy lives and strong communities.


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Advocates for Youth seeks a fluent Spanish speaker and writer to serve in the International Youth Health and Rights Division. The International Youth Health and Rights Division houses the AmbienteJoven web site (www.ambientejoven.org), a site for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (GLBTQ) youth in Spanish-speaking Latin America and the Caribbean that provides sexual health information and resources. Advocates is currently recruiting a writer to develop features for the web site.

Advocates for Youth is dedicated to creating programs and promoting policies that help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. We provide information, training, and advocacy to youth-serving organizations, policy makers, and the media in the U.S. and internationally.

Responsibilities of the AmbienteJoven writer include developing and finalizing four in-depth features that address current youth LGBTQ topics of interest for Latin America and the Caribbean. Each feature should be between 1,500 and 2,000 words, provide citations for any statistics used, and include links to resources and information to further inform the reader about the topic being discussed.

To apply to be the AmbienteJoven writer, you must:

  • Be between the ages of 15 and 24
  • Identify as a GLBTQ person
  • Be fluent in Spanish
  • Have excellent writing skills
  • Have excellent research skills
  • Be familiar with youth GLBTQ issues in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Be able to work independently

Writers will receive a stipend equivalent to US $50 per completed and approved feature.

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and writing sample in Spanish as well as your resume to: nicole@advocatesforyouth.org by November 12, 2012.


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…for continuing to be such an awesome youth activist!

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Welcome to (the new) Amplify!

Since Amplify launched on January 1, 2009, tens of thousands of you have participated in campaigns, sent letters to legislators and other decision makers, and contributed blogs, pictures, and videos. You made Amplify the diverse, informed, engaged community that it is – and one that has over a million visitors every year. We at Advocates for Youth are awed by your commitment to youth reproductive and sexual health and rights – and honored to be a part of your activism.

That’s why it brings us such great pleasure to unveil the redesign of www.amplifyyourvoice.org.

It’s streamlined, a breeze to navigate, easier to post photos/videos/art works and more connected to social media than ever before. Just type in the “add your voice” box to get started!

This site showcases the work of Advocates for Youth’s youth activist programs, as well as that of youth activists around the United States and around the world.

And it’s still got great tools you love, like our toolkits,  online education modules,  and Take Action Center.

We’re also thrilled to introduce Amplify’s seven featured youth contributors –  Hannah, D’Laney, Nefertiti, Karlee, Emilio, Briana, and Karachi. They are motivated and talented activists who are making sure youth voices are heard online as well as in their communities.

We hope you’ll try out the site – take actions, read blogs, and of course join if you haven’t already!  We’re still in the testing phase of some features, so contact us if you have suggestions or experience problems.

And thanks for making Amplify great!

The New Amplify

We would love to hear from you about your experience using the new Amplify! Love it? Great! Something not working? Let us know so we can make it work!
  • Please include your Amplify username if you are experiencing a problem related to your account.

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On Monday, October 15th it was the 10th year anniversary of National Latino AIDS Awareness Day. It was founded on Oct. 15th, 2003 to end the Hispanic Heritage Month national celebration.

It is an important day because it gives us the opportunity to be in solidarity with all of those who are infected with AIDS and at at the same time makes us reflect on the fact that there is still much more to do to irradiate AIDS.

Latinos are disproportionally affected by AIDS and this is a serious problem that we have to find a way to address.

We need to do a better job of preventing HIV infections, raise more awareness and make sure there is access of resources for Latinos such as testing.

On Friday, October 12th, the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina (APPCNC) held their annual Hispanic Symposium. And I think that this was a way to address this important issue.

The focus this year was “Hot Topics in Latino Adolescent Health,” addressing some of the pressing needs of the Latino community.

Presenters included an immigration lawyer who talked about deferred action (the change in immigration policy announced June 15th), health issues affecting Latina/o (s) adolescents.
To start off with APPCNC is one of the most awesome organization that I know of. I was a member of the inaugural youth council, initially called the North Carolina Youth Leadership Council my junior year of high school.

APPCNC was the stepping stone to being an effective advocate for reproductive rights.

I think the conference overall was great because often times before we talk about AIDS and HIV we have to first be able to talk about our sexual health, because as is sometimes the case, it is not ok to talk about it. Having these hard conversations is important so that we can move forward.

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A three-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court approved South Carolina’s voter ID law, finding it less restrictive than other, similar laws. Fortunately, the court delayed implementation of the law until after the November election, citing uncertainty in how certain provisions would operate. The court also left open the possibility that as applied, the law could have discriminatory implications.

More once I’ve had a chance to read the opinion for myself.

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Marriage is an institution meant for mentally, sexually matured people. It is a gift from God to connect two matured people to positively enhance their capacity, but today, teen girls are forced into marriages at the age of 13 years. This is a quick act of transforming a girl’s childhood into motherhood. They become a housemaid at an early stage with an undeveloped sexual reproductive organ. These wonderful girls begin to have sex at the wrong period of their lives. Child marriage makes a unique person to have low intellectual standards on very important aspects of their lives. Life for these unfortunate girls becomes very difficult very difficult due to the emergence of different complicities for a Teen girl. This has a lot to do with the short contribution of the government to improve the educational strategies and structures in most rural parts of the country.
The government should educate and introduce enlightenment programs and this should be done in collaboration with religion leaders, women, community leaders and others. For those who are married at a young age, Government and Non-government Agencies should create more education opportunities, provide reproductive health and HIV/AIDS Prevention information and services to the girls in the urban and rural areas, parents also needs to be enlightened to educate their girl child as it goes a long way in the prevention  of unwanted pregnancies.  Also empowerment of girl child skills and educate her on basic human right.  

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Family planning is very important, most especially in our communities where there are many unaware people. In the northern part of Nigeria, it has been proved that they are the most populated zone In Nigeria and it’s very easy to find a family with 20 children. In such family you will find out that the head of the family will be unable to take proper care of all the children. For example, there was a man that had 25 children and only 9 out of the 20 that he was able to send to school, he doesn’t  have the means of taking care of them and sponsor them to school. Secondly family planning is very important on the other hand because when you have low number of family you can be able to take care of them in terms of education, morally feeding and shelter. Also family planning methods can help young couples (husband and wife) agree on the Number of children they want, and when they want it. Some of the advantage of why family planning Should be supported is that it prevents unwanted pregnancy, avoids abortion, it also helps to optimize population  in the country, and it also ensure satisfactory nutrition, care for the children, family planning ensure good health care and qualities and education for the children . it is also important  to point Out  that family planning reduces  maternal mortality rate.

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The thought of people thinking that it is ideal to have their teenage daughters become mothers, really keeps me wondering if they are of same planet as I am. Well this ill thought of theirs is as a result of their becoming mothers as teenage girls! Getting into marriage as a teenage girl is future tarnishing.
Marriage is an institution that is established by two individuals that is knowledgeable in handling a home. It is for two matured people to positively enhance their capacity with their different unique experiences they have seen, heard of, and imagine having as married people. Marriage is a life time institution of two people who are meant and destined to be together. It is very inappropriate for a Teenage girl/boy to go into marriage, because they are very empty with due knowledge and experiences to utilize effectively in their supposed “Married life”
My aunty Mrs. Ada Emeka Ike just turned 32 years old last week. She sells roasted Maize in a very local market in Ikeduru local governments’ area of my state of origin, Imo Nigeria. My aunty is a very beautiful young lady that is now mother of 7. She spends most of her time blaming her parents for pushing her into an early marriage at her Teen age. she approached her puberty stage at the age of 13, and was believed to be Bodily matured when she started menstruating. So her father forced her into marrying a friend of his for 3 plots of land without considering if getting married was what his daughter would be comfortable with. She got married to Mr. Emeka Ike as a forth wife and got an STD from him as he was a very promiscuous man.
If she and her family had had a Good life-orientation she would have been beta than a Corn seller. A beautiful life was destroyed because of a lack of Good orientation. An orientation they would have gotten if they had a good educational platform.
13 years old a Mother. HOW old is the young girl you just saw out side?

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Nillima was only thirteen years old when she started menstruating. Her father then couldn’t cope with the fact that she was fast growing and needed to spend more money to keep up with her needs as an adolescent. It came to the thought of Nillima’s father that giving her away would reduce the financial burden and also bring in some money for him. Abu, Nillima’s to be husband was a herdsman and had more money to take care of her, he thought. On this faithful day Nillima sat in her room and thought “I can’t take care of myself not to talk of taking full responsibility of a family of my own” just then her mother barged in to break the news to her that her husband has come to take her to her away. Nillima went with the man her hoping she would be able to fulfill the life she had always dreamt of by going to school as Abu had promised. As Nillima comply with her father’s wish she never knew that was the beginning of her miserable life.
Nillima’s husband wasn’t faithful to her despite the fact she gave him all he wanted. Three years after marriage Nillima contacted the deadly disease HIV and because of the poor awareness she had it resulted to AIDS. After she found out her husband threw her out of the house claiming she couldn’t keep up as a wife. Nillima didn’t have any other place to go to, her parents were dead. Nillima then retired to the streets were she had to beg to earn a living. In most places so many young girls are being deprived of their future they are never given the best of opportunities to make their own decisions they have always dreamt.
Such is the story of many girls in Nigeria, 17% of girls under the age of 15 are already married while 39% of young girls under age of 18 are married. This further confirms the dilemma of young girls’ limited access to education. When the rights of girls are protected, it will help reduce their risk of violence, early pregnancies, HIV infection and maternal death. When we are able to stay in school and avoid being married early we can build a foundation for a better life for ourselves and our families and contribute to the progress of our nation.
Support a girl child attain a meaningful future, we are counting on you!!!

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Amplify will undergo site maintenance beginning today until late Friday.  You may encounter errors posting during this time.  Blogs posted during this time may "disappear" and need to be reposted.  We encourage you to postpone posting until Saturday morning.  Thank you! 

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 Child marriage is a gross violation of a girls’ human and sexual rights i.e right to physical and mental health, rights to free expression, right to life.etc. Poverty is believed to be one of the significant risk factor for child marriage in Nigeria. Most of the cases recorded so far are surrounded by issues of financial gains and cultural or religious misconceptions. Take for instance, not too long ago in Nigeria; there was a case of a top politician (law maker) that paid $100,000 to a family just to marry their 13 years old daughter in the name of religion. This tells you us, there are so many people including people in government to be held responsible for the un realised potential that are misplace as a result of this barbaric act. But as we focus and get to the various root causes of these issues, it also pertinent we create solution with by-ins of all stakeholders.

Government should make available all necessary life commodities for the less privileged societies to make life more ease, thus supporting the number of young girls completing school. Education is key protective factors that can significant reduce the number child marriages we have or even prevent unhealthy challenges that arise as a result of immature bodies getting pregnant. It also enhances their participation in making healthy decisions about their futures and builds their capacity to leave school with a good qualifications and skills that will support sustainable livelihood for themselves, families and even the nation as a whole.
 But to first and foremost make a policy to compulsory girls to complete their secondary education at the least. And then introduce the prevention programmes in schools and ensure consistent delivery of these programmesn, enlighen the mothers on the necessity to educate our girl child.
Together lets end the violation of the right of the girl child in other to build sustainable future!

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Just when you think you’ve seen it all, someone comes along and totally blows your mind. By this I mean the now non-functioning "Save the Boobies!" October campaign run by porn-streaming site, "Pornhub". The site promised to donate one cent for every 30 clicks on videos featuring adjectivally specific descriptions of breasts e.g. "big jugs", "small jugs" (Oy vey!). One cent though?

The Komen foundation has ordered the site to stop using its name in the campaign because it doesn’t intend to take any of the money generated. One commenter expressed the opinion that money donated to a breast cancer campaign run by a porn site fels "like a little slap in the face". In this person’s opinion, any videos featuring anyone but women with masectomy scars, reconstructed breasts, and bald heads, is just a painful reminder of what cancer survivors have experienced.

Interesting theory. But what’s the harm in a little "out of the box" thinking? All these people were doing was trying to use their service to a worthy cause.

If you were The Komen Foundation, would you take money from Pornhub’s campaign?

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For many of those long nights where you waited for her period because you were unsure if the condom actually broke or those frustrating moments where you tried to do a mental calculation of to try to figure out her cycle. Well ladies and gents, with great advances in science, male birth control is now becoming a more than just an idea discussed around the watering hole among friends. Researchers recently developed a new pill that essentially makes the male testicles “forget” how to produce sperm. I know many of you may be worrying that this is irreversible, but their findings show that the effect of the halted production of sperm is only temporary. This could be huge for the battle of contraception use and access because it evens the playing field for both men and women. This goes a long way for making sure that both parties are equally responsible for their sexual health. Check out the article below to get find out more about advances in male birth control. Enjoy!!


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 the believe of being infidel and cafull is totally absorb.
 being faithful to you partner is one very, and only very good way to be safe from contracting HIVAIDS. if you keep more than one sexual partner, you will be uncertain of how stable your status is.
 having just a sexual parner is being sur of the status of both of you. 
 I have heard people give all kind of reasons for why they  don’t need to not have more than one sexual parner . I recall one conversation in particular when i’d asked  a male associate of mine if he plan  to just be with one sexual patner he said "NO". and expalained that he’d already  been tested once before  and since then allof his partners had been "clean" so he didn’t bother being careful.

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 Not even condoms can hundred percent, guaranty your not having an STI.
 Not even condoms can undoubtably asure your not having an unwanted pregnancy. 
The best way is to abstain. abstainance is one way and the only way you can be realy sure of not being endangerd to nothing. 
ABSTAIN. seriously it is very easy to. just decide.

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There is a lot of criticism on marriage age in Islam. Some allege that Muslim marriage law allows marriage of minors. However, Quran indicates at least on one place that there is definite age which can be termed as age of marriage “The Kitab al Nikah (Qur’an) permits marriage by reaching maturity sexually and mentally (baligh)”

By nature man does not live alone. In fact he is destined not to live alone. Adam when created was not left to live alone. The Holy Quran says “O men fear Allah Who has created you out of one soul and out of that he created his spouse and from them both have multiplied man and woman in great numbers”. The Quran indicates that in these ties of love and compassion as are ingrained in both the spouses, lays the Islamic ideal of marriage.

For it provides not only a means of multiplying the human race but it also saves the married couple from wasting their time and energies in rival activities and contributes considerably to their spiritual advancement. From this and also other injunctions we gather that marriage is a sacred duty.

Prophet Muhammad (SWA) said “When child attains maturity let him/her be married. If he/she attains maturity and the father does not get him/her married then he/she commits a sin, the sin will fall upon the father” so this does not limit in on the girls but also to the boys.
When a parent feels that his children are of marriageable age and can bear the responsibilities of a family, they should get them married. The age may vary in different individuals. But the average age for a boy will be approximately 20 and in the girl approximately 17. This is because girls attain the age of puberty earlier than the male.

A lot of people say that the prophet Muhammad (SWA) practiced it and that why all Muslims practice it, however when we look at the instance and example shown by the prophet. The age of attaining puberty stage is falling compare to the 20 years back when a 15year old boy or girl will still have not reach the puberty stage and still not forgetting that the climate is also a affect the growth rate and again I wouldn’t want to forget that the level of literacy is also a factor which make other people to make the these mistakes.

My point here is child marriage is just a misconception or should I say it’s a misunderstanding by people who are not well informed on marriage right.

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South Carolina

In South Carolina, young people are working to make comprehensive sex education a reality in their state. SWARM (Students With A Responsible Message), a project of Advocates for Youth and Tell Them SC leads the work of a statewide youth activist network that advocates for comprehensive sexual health education.  Here’s a picture of the youth council members in training in August!


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Learn more about reproductive and sexual health in Florida, and why Florida’s youth activists do the work they do!

Florida’s Youth: Focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health

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In Florida, young people are working to make comprehensive sex education a reality in their state. The Broward County Youth Council, a project of Advocates for Youth and Planned Parenthood of South Florida and the Treasure Coast, leads the work of a statewide youth activist network that advocates for comprehensive sexual health education.  Here’s a picture of some of the council members at the 2012 Urban Retreat!

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Learn more about young people’s sexual and reproductive health in Colorado and why Colorado’s youth activists do what they do!

Colorado’s Youth: Focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health

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In Colorado, young people are working to make comprehensive sex education a reality in their state. Colorado Youth Create, a project of Advocates for Youth and Colorado Youth Matter, leads the work of a statewide youth activist network that advocates for comprehensive sexual health education.  Here’s a picture of some of the council members on their way to tell their Senators and Representatives about the importance of good sex ed!



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Young people at Advocates’ partner organization Forward Together  surveyed and interviewed students to get more in-depth information about the sex education young people want to see in their school. Check it out!

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In California, young people are working to make comprehensive sex education a reality in their state.  California’s state sex ed leadership council, a project of Advocates for Youth and Forward Together, leads the work of a statewide youth activist network that advocates for comprehensive sexual health education.

Youth activists from California, at the Capitol and ready to lobby!


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In Alabama, young people are working to make comprehensive sex education a reality in their state.  The Youth Activist Council, a project of Advocates for Youth and Alabama Alliance for Healthy Youth, leads the work of a statewide youth activist network that advocates for comprehensive sexual health education.  Here’s a picture of some of the council members on their way to tell their Senators and Representatives about the importance of good sex ed!

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 For you, Halloween might mean trick or treating, candy binges, fun parties in costumes, pumpkin-flavored stuff, and scary movie marathons. It also means that somewhere out there, there are people whose "Eureka!" moments are kinda dumb, and consist of trying to make a buck off everything. I’m sure you’ve all been to costume store websites and have seen some of the ridiculous ways in which items and people from popular culture are "sexified". What’s that? You haven’t? Well let me show you what I’m talking about.

I understand the sexy bunny and sexy cat costumes, but how do you get this… from this… 
That’s one helluva sexy bird. The kind you DON’T want to take home to your mama.

Hide yo husband, hide yo son, hide yo daddy ‘cos there’s a sexy raccoon in town.

What did poor Nemo ever do to you? All he wanted was to find his way back home! How do you get sexy from that?

As though the blatant hyper-sexualization of women wasn’t already an issue, one sicko woke up one morning and said, "Hmmmm. What’s sexier than a sexy scrabble board? Or a sexy takeout box? I know! A sexy bodybag!"

Folks, there you have it, the latest addition to the growing list of disturbing sexy costumes – The "Jane Doe DOA Bodybag Adult Costume"

"He will will be dead on arrival when you show up in this drop dead sexy Jane Doe DOA bodybag adult women’s costume. The dress hugs your every curve and the zipper..well, how low does it go? You decide! You can zip it all the way up and close the hood, or zip it down when he goes down…"
Now tell me again what you were saying about me taking these halloween costumes too seriously. Mhmmmm. Thought so.

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You know that iconic black-and-white photograph of the American sailor kissing the woman in the white dress? Of course you do – it’s quintessential dorm room wall fare. You know, this one:

This photo always made me uncomfortable. In spite of all the post-war jubiliation, something just seems off about this scene. Maybe it’s her clenched fist, her stiff arm, and her awkwardly twisted legs. Or maybe it’s his headlock-esque embrace, or the smushed-up intensity of their kiss. Call me unromantic, but something about this photo twists my stomach into knots.

Unfortunately, that reaction might not be so off-base. Last week, a British blogger known as Leopold made waves when she posited that, far from being one of the 50 most romantic photographs of all time, this image depicts a sexual assault in progress. As it turns out, the man and woman in the photo were complete strangers prior to this moment. The sailor was drunk, and the woman in the white dress was completely unaware of his presence until he enveloped her in a back-bending bearhug. Leopold cites some chilling quotes from the woman in question, who has only recently been identified and interviewed:

“It wasn’t my choice to be kissed. The guy just came over and grabbed!”

“I did not see him approaching, and before I knew it, I was in this vice grip. [sic]“

“You don’t forget this guy grabbing you.”

“That man was very strong. I wasn’t kissing him. He was kissing me.”

Shockingly, none of the articles in which these quotes originally appeared seem to recognize this as problematic. Leopold’s blog post addresses this:

The unwillingness to recognize a problem here is not surprising, considering the rape culture in which we live. It is not easy to assert that a woman’s body is always her own, not to be used at the whim of any man without her consent. It is far easier to turn a blind eye to the feelings of women, to claim that they should empathise with the man, that they should be good sports and just go along with it. And the stronger the power structures behind the man, the more difficult it becomes to act otherwise. But if we are serious about bringing down rape culture and reducing the widespread violence against women, then we need to make it clear that engaging with someone sexually without consent is not ok, even when it is an uncomfortable position to take. Especially when it is an uncomfortable position to take.

While it may be tempting to shrug off the circumstances around the photograph and instead revel in the nostalgia, patriotism, and unbridled joy it’s seen to evoke, there can be no excusing the violation of another person’s autonomy. There are plenty of cutesy vintage posters that don’t feature nonconsensual physical contact, so let’s retire the Kissing Sailor in favor of posters that reflect the kind of culture we’re trying to create. Consent is sexy, people!

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Sex, educational and website seem like a weird combination to be all in one sentence! But that is possible this day in age with the innovative sites created to be fun, interactive, with the times and most importantly – a trusted site to get sexual health information!


From being able to look up the laws on sexuality for your state (sex ed, age of consent, or abortion rights for example) to access to a sex ed dictionary with nearly 400 words, how can you ask for more? There is also a forum to ask questions you are dying to know the answers to as well as a link to check out blogs on a number of sexual health concerns, including your body and relationships! A huge problem today is finding a source to get reliable and accurate sexual health info, so enough of my yanking! Go and check it out by clicking here!

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Disclaimer: This blog is intended only for those persons 21 years and older, and is not intended for young people under the age of 21 years old. This blog does not promote the drinking of alcohol, but rather shares tips on how to be safe.

It is no secret that some people like to drink and have a good time, especially after stressful times or just to unwind and celebrate, and especially often times for their 21st birthday! Most people imagine that night with nothing but the company of friends and loads of alcohol. Throw in that guy or girl you have had your eye on for awhile and it could become a crazy night!


The morning after is filled with piecing together the night before and I would hate to wake up to a stranger next to me in a bed, clothes scattered about. I recommend that no one should drink to the point of being tipsy or drunk if you think you may want to engage in sexual activity; alcohol may impair your judgment. So while you may have brought a condom and intended to use it, you may not be thinking clear enough to remember to use it or put it on correctly, if you have been drinking heavily.

A few reminders when out for a night on the town and drinking are:
1. NEVER drink beverages you didn’t open yourself or see being made.
2. NEVER leave your drink unattended.
3. NEVER drink anything with an unusual taste or appearance.

Always remember that SAFE SEX is the best sex and it may be difficult to do that if you and/or your partner have been drinking.

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Sitting in my Women’s Health Issues class, we talk about a wide range of topics. So of course the dreaded PAP test is a topic of discussion. Pap smears are gynecological procedures in which a sample of the cervix is examined for precancerous cells. It’s not as bad as everyone makes it seem but an interesting point was brought up in the discussion.

To get a birth control prescription, including refills, you DO NOT need to have a pap smear done. Pap smears can be included in a “well woman” exam and can be scheduled accordingly with your doctor (depending on your health history and risks), but it is not mandatory to receive a prescription for birth control pills. Secondly, STD testing is not automatically done when you receive a pap test which is a common misconception about pap tests. You have to request STD tests, which if you are sexually active, you may want to get tested every 6 months or before and/or after every new sexual partner.

These are common errors that females make when thinking of pap smears, so get the truth from your doctor if you have questions. Most importantly your vagina may bring you happy years as long as you take care of it! So remember to protect yourself EACH AND EVERY TIME you have sex.

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  In the present days now, we found out that, in most environments, there are some people living with much family or large family, including boys and girls.
Example, in a family of seven(7), you only found two that are schooling or have something practically system of life in other to earn a living, and other ones will be left without doing anything responsible all that they could do is just to keep roaming on the street or found them hawking from place to place and on that process it promote lack of conception, in inability to have a good stability specifically on the girls who are found with that aspect, some of goes out there and sustain an unwanted pregnancy, initiated with some bad atmospherically condition which warrant them to be disrespected in the family and in the face of people so also the boys too are been found in some such conditions like that.
This situation has been growing each day by day most especially, poverty status causes it even in some smaller family due to poverty, and they were also encountering many problems that cannot make them to grow forward. When we look into all this, we will found that it is a very wrong thing for us to be encountering all that, if there is a way that can bring a limitation to it, I think it with be a very good development for the nation.

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It is very important to know about female circumcision, why? Because it is very wrong. In the olden days they did that and in the same part of Nigeria there still doing it. It is wrong because they cut the female clitoris, to reduce their women’s sexuality, not knowing that it is wrong and harmful to them. It affects their marital home and it makes them to have difficulty in labor. It destroys marriage, for example I heard of a friend. I think she is 23 years old. She was circumcised by her parents when she was a baby, she narrated how she felt when having sex with her husband, she did not feel anything emotionally. The man did not know that she was circumcised by her parents when she was a baby. This caused a problem when her husband knew that she was circumcised. He start going out with other girls. She is blaming her parents for what they did to her. My contribution is to educate our parents on that, for them to stop doing it because it is very important to them.  And also by telling them the dangers of circumcision, and also telling them that it destroys marriage. My friend was narrating the way she feels when having sex, and let us seen how to educate our parents, sisters and any other women in the world for them to know that circumcision is not good. Also in the holy Quran and bible there is no chapter where God says we should do that.   

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 If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world.
Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626)

On the 21th of September the world celebrated the International Day of Peace. A day where citizens of the earth are encouraged to lay down their arms, animosities, antagonisms, to come together in peaceful repose for 1 day of 355 days to become what we were meant to be: a planet filled with tolerance, kindness and, yes, even love. The special day of the year provides an opportunity for individuals, organisations, and nations to create practical acts of peace.

Ironically, this new decade witnesses the culmination of man’s greed, evil and transgression against his fellow man, the planet where he finds life and worse yet, even against himself.

As a somewhat negative outcome of the Arab Spring that caught the world, and especially the Middle East by storm, the 18 month long Syrian civil war has proved itself to be an example of one government’s disdain for its people met with defiance not to be broken by authority. The body count is reportedly in the 23,000 count, yet it still pushes on. Violent protests in over 20 countries lead to the destruction of property and lives by angry Muslims, such as the death of the United States Ambassador to Libya over the anti-Muslim film. The protests, deaths and damage is clear evidence of what is to come if religious tolerance, or at least tolerance in itself, is not practised. And on the 23rd of September, 2012 as Christians in Bauchi, Nigeria tried to practice their fundamental right to freedom of religion, the religious sect known as Boko Haram struck again killing at least 2 people and injuring 48 more.

Tolerance, or the lack thereof, has shaped history and how we are as groups and individuals in the world today. From the Nazis to the KKK; from gay bashing to gender inequality in the workplace; from the genocides in Rwanda to Cambodia to Somali and those yet to be documented, we see, in one way or the other, a certain lack of tolerance and acceptance for our fellow man. We fail to realise that we are all connected and influence by each other’s actions and inactions.

The fact is, in case anyone, especially our world leaders missed it, is that we live in a multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-social world. Everyone is different and we should stop looking at the word “different” as if it is a bad thing. You don’t have to agree with everything someone who has a different ideology or religion believes in, but that’s the thing about tolerance: it’s about accepting that the other person has a different view on things. You don’t have to agree on their views, but understanding that person and his point of view, in other words, putting yourself in their shoes, may just make you think differently on certain issues.

For instance, the recent protests by the Muslim world over the anti-Islamic film have sparked solidarity between the Muslim and Christians followers in certain countries, especially Egypt where Coptic Christians declared their support and condemned “all sorts of contempt or disdain against any religion, as well as to the sowing of sedition between people who embrace different religions”. Even in Nigeria, a nation notorious for its corrupt leaders, thieving politicians, rising insecurity and depths of social, religious and ethnic suspicious, mistrust and killings, Christians in the northern state of Kano, where the terrorist sect Boko Haram has targeted and bombed churches on numerous occasions, have resolved to walk by their Muslim brothers and sisters in protest against the film.

Gandhi said we have to be the change we want to see in the world. If you want to see peace, be peaceful; if you want to be treated with love and respect, treat others with love and respect. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you: now that is the Golden Rule. We are one body, one people. Act

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 Legalising abortion in cases of rape and incest is something i have been saying for years.
These young women have been through enough and i feel it is punishment for them to have to carry a child and raise it. 
Many people are saying abortion is a sin but i am sure that if they were placed in many of these young ladies shoes they would without a doubt get an abortion. 
I remember speaking to a young lady who was raped and now has a son and she said "I honestly wish it didnt happen and everytime i look at him i remember it". When she says "it" she is talking about that horrible incident which took place one sunday night while walking alone from church.. "where was God" i thought to myself but that’s another blog for a different website (lol). However, its has always been my view that victims of rape and incest should be permitted to have abortions and more recently it has been the views of many more Jamaican’s ever since the rape rate has escalated in the last couple weeks. Below is an article printed in the Jamaica Observer highlighting the views of a few Jamaican’s.

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has asked Jamaica to reconsider the criminalisation of abortion in cases where a pregnancy is a result of a rape or incest or in cases where it poses a threat to a mother’s health and life.

Abortion is currently a criminal act under sections 72 and 73 of the Offences Against the Persons Act, but the committee, which met with representatives from Jamaica during its 52nd session in New York recently, said it was concerned about the inadequate access to sexual and reproductive health care services in the island which contributed to high incidences of teenage and unwanted pregnancies.

The committee said it was concerned that abortion is wholly illegal according to the Act, which does not make a distinction in cases of pregnancies resulting from rape, incest and threats to a mother’s health and life. Abortions incur severe penalties, the committee argued, and there is a lack of data on the incidence of unsafe abortions and the link to high infant and maternal mortality rates. It further recommended that Jamaica, "Remove punitive provisions imposed on women who undergo abortions."
The Jamaican delegation which appeared before CEDAW pointed out that the parliamentary committee that was convened to look at the possible amendment to the existing legislation has not yet been able to reach a decision. The committee was developed after a draft bill was formulated by an advisory committee on abortions in 2010, following consultations with the wider public about the decriminalisation of abortion.
Although the committee commended Jamaica for the implementation of strategies to strengthen access to health care, it also expressed concern that there was no data showing women’s access to primary and secondary health care services and that there was slow progress in reducing maternal mortality. The committee said it also noted a growing trend to feminise HIV, and there was a disproportionately higher number of women living with the disease.
However, delegates representing the country pointed to a Declaration of Commitment that was signed by former prime minister Bruce Golding and the current prime minister Portia Simpson Miller in April 2011, to eliminate stigma and discrimination and gender inequality affecting the HIV response in Jamaica. They also pointed to numerous successes over the pass few years in the fight to reduce HIV and AIDS cases.
One of the recommendations from the committee is that Jamaica strengthens the monitoring and data collection on women’s access to health care. The committee also suggested that there be free and adequate access to contraceptives so as to improve the access and quality of sexual and reproductive health services for women and girls.
One area of focus, the committee pointed to in going forward, is to undertake a large scale awareness-raising campaign to promote education on sexual and reproductive health and rights. This, they said, will assist in the reduction of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/magazines/allwoman/Jamaica-urged-to-reconsider-abortion-laws-for-cases-of-rape–incest_12632445#ixzz28GM5tX7g

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Join the National Center for Transgender Equality’s "Voting While Trans" campaign to educate and prepare trans people on how to vote in light of new voter ID laws. This year, over 25,000 trans people could be denied a ballot. Learn more at http://www.votingwhiletrans.org.

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On 27 of sep 2012 we have a campus activities in  university of Abuja ,  The program started at 4pm in the afternoon most of the student are present  there Maryam  Yusuf was registering the student in face book and also taking attendance After that   we all introduce our self to them and Aliyu Abdurrahman  introduce our organization EVA Education as a Vaccine our armed is to advocate for the right of the young people , most especially the young people living with HIV/AIDS which right has been valuated or deny admission into Nigeria university,   and  we are vacating for anti- stigma bill so that young people will also have equal right to the society, examples right to education, right to employment, right to health and right to live, he talks on HIV stigma and how to stop stigma and also people with HIV/AIDS should be giving equal right after that Gloria and   narrated the stigma she face in school, home and in the society  were  going through and how she was deny admit ions  into the university after that there is a lot of question  from the student  and contribution, and pelumi  read out the petition letter out she talk about the important of sighing in the petition letter, and the student agree to it, and also there was A lot of question and contribution from the student. Refreshment was giving, dancing competition and we close by 6pm.

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Summer is on the rise and a lot of fashionistas are picking up their favorite leather apparel these days. Shop from leatherfads.com and avail 20 percent flat discount.

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 Just recieved my 500 condoms!!! Thank you Trojan and GACC! Can’t wait to get out there tomorrow and set up my table in the middle of Iowa State University’s campus!

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On 29th September 2012 marked the first LGBTI music and Dance show in Uganda which was titled “KUCHUS ON STAGE”. The show was organized by Rainbow Events Uganda a foundation that focus on LGBTI visual and performing arts. The show brought over 200 LGBTI together to watch their own artists and dance groups perform live on stage which was massive. The main aim of the show was to bring together different LGBTI musicians on one stage to be supported by LGBTI community and have their own platform and their voices to be heard. Music can be used to advocate for the rights of LGBTI because it’s one of the best ways of communicating to the world. This was a safe space for LGBTI artists and dance groups to come and develop their talents. The LGBTI community in Uganda looks forward to having more of concerts that will empower their own artists. Rainbow Events Uganda founded in 2011 is a foundation that focuses on empowering LGBT community in Uganda through visual and performing arts and a series of social creative activities. It’s created to connect a generation of LGBT artistic passionate minds through celebrating the urban life of style and engage in making a positive change through visual and performing arts that promote provision of spaces of expression. R.E.U organize LGBT music educational programmes, LGBT art galleries, LGBT spoken word poetry which is used to communicate positive messages and affect positive change in LGBT community. This creates an opportunity to make the invisible visible as it’s expected that through visual and performing arts there are many opportunities to speak out the real truth and empowerment with the tools to have voices heard on a global platform. The vision is to empower and promote interests of LGBT community and encourage LGBT organizations to become engaged in visual and performing arts for global justice and social Change. One of the successful activities carried out b R.E.U was the LGBTI music and Arts workshop and Drag queen fashion show that took place early this year.
For more information about the work of Rainbow Events Uganda contact
Rainbow Events Uganda
P.O Box 70107 Clock tower
Kampala, Uganda
Tel: +256784256868
Email: rainboweventsuganda@yahoo.com

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Reflecting back on the great OMG-Planned-Parenthood-Almost-Got-Defunded crisis of 2010, one of the most toxic pieces of rhetorical fallout seems to have been the way that the Hyde Amendment became a sort of reconciliatory football to punt around in public discourse about women’s health. Think about it. Anti-choice legislators justified their decision to strip all federal funding from our nation’s largest women’s health provider by claiming it helped fund abortion services. When women’s health advocates rightly pointed out that, on the contrary, the Hyde Amendment has prohibited public funding of abortion since 1976, therein lurked un unspoken assumption of justness or rightness, like ‘it’s okay guys, Planned Parenthood doesn’t use public money to provide abortion services so they toootally aren’t doing anything wrong.’ The defensive tenor of the debate left no room to treat the Hyde Amendment as anything but a fact-checkable defense shield against the blatantly false claims of the anti-choice right.

Unfortunately, the total absence of any nuanced debate around the merits of the Hyde Amendment as public policy meant that our national conversation around abortion rights was fundamentally reframed. The assumption that Medicaid dollars should never cover abortion care was taken as a given, and Planned Parenthood supporters rested easier knowing that the Hyde Amendment afforded them some immunity against misplaced, factually inaccurate anti-choice vitriol. At the end of the day, though, bad policy is bad policy. On the 36th anniversary of the passage of the Hyde Amendment, we would be remiss not to discuss the decades of harm the Hyde Amendment has inflicted on low-income women around the country.

For 36 years, the Hyde Amendment has restricted low-income women’s abilities to make choices about their reproductive lives by banning federal Medicaid coverage of abortion services except in cases of rape or incest or when the pregnancy poses a threat to the life of the woman. In a powerful article published last year, Jessica Arons exposes the classist access limitations that the Hyde Amendment reinforces and institutionalizes:

Abortion policy in this country does not treat all women equally. Even before Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, affluent women were usually able to access abortion safely through a network of private doctors or by traveling to other states or countries where it was legal. Meanwhile, poor women risked their health, fertility, and often their lives to end a pregnancy. Unfortunately, because of the Hyde Amendment, similar inequalities exist today – nearly 40 years after the Supreme Court declared that all women have a constitutional right to abortion.

Arons then lays out the grim set of “choices” a Medicaid recipient might face when confronted with an unintended pregnancy:

It is poor women, disproportionately women of color, who have to scrape together money for an abortion – foregoing rent or utilities, pawning dear items, taking food out of their children’s mouths, or worse. It is these women who consider suicide or self-harm, risk inducing an abortion on their own, or continue a pregnancy against their will and better judgment because they cannot find the money or get to a clinic in time. And it is these women whom policymakers continually ignore but who must live with the consequences of political fights over which they have little control.

Herein lies the crux of the issue. Denying poor women the full range of reproductive health care options simply because it makes some lawmakers uncomfortable totally undermines the fact that abortion is a right protected under the Constitution. Even had the Supreme Court not made that explicit in 1973, the bottom line is that abortion care is health care, and health care is a right, not a privilege. We need to stop defaulting back to the Hyde Amendment crutch any time anti-choicers trot out the taxpayer-funded-abortion rhetoric. Instead, let’s refocus the national conversation and talk about why the Hyde Amendment just isn’t good policy.

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