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EDITOR’S NOTE: Trust Women Week overlaps with the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and reasserts our firm commitment to reclaiming the future of reproductive decision-making in 2012. Throughout the week, Amplify will be honoring women’s experiences and voices by featuring a different story from The 1 in 3 Campaign January 21-27.

1in3Campaign.org: Joy from Advocates for Youth on Vimeo.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

JOY: Let’s see… I was 23 and I had just finished undergrad and I moved to San Diego on my way… I was going to be teaching

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Trust Women Week overlaps with the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and reasserts our firm commitment to reclaiming the future of reproductive decision-making in 2012. Throughout the week, Amplify will be honoring women’s experiences and voices by featuring a different story from The 1 in 3 Campaign January 21-27.

1in3Campaign.org: Angela – Part 1 of 2 from Advocates for Youth on Vimeo.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT 

ANGELA: My junior year of college was probably, um… In the ‘90s. I was in a relationship with someone that I

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Trust Women Week overlaps with the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and reasserts our firm commitment to reclaiming the future of reproductive decision-making in 2012. Throughout the week, Amplify will be honoring women’s experiences and voices by featuring a different story from The 1 in 3 Campaign January 21-27.

1in3Campaign.org: Deb from Advocates for Youth on Vimeo.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

DEB: So my story is probably pretty similar to many other women’s stories. I was 35 years old. The year was 1995. I had been married for

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Trust Women Week overlaps with the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and reasserts our firm commitment to reclaiming the future of reproductive decision-making in 2012. Throughout the week, Amplify will be honoring women’s experiences and voices by featuring a different story from The 1 in 3 Campaign January 21-27.

Roe v. Wade was decided 39 years ago today. In honor of that decision, we are highlighting Judy’s story of the dangers of illegal abortion. During the 1960’s, Judy helped run a referral service so that women

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Trust Women Week overlaps with the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and reasserts our firm commitment to reclaiming the future of reproductive decision-making in 2012. Throughout the week, Amplify will be honoring women’s experiences and voices by featuring a different story from The 1 in 3 Campaign January 21-27.

1in3Campaign.org: Deborah from Advocates for Youth on Vimeo.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

DEBORAH: Well I can tell you a fairly harrowing story that for many years I didn’t think of as being my story. But, when I look at it in the

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Our Youth Activist Network Manager Julia just sent out this call-to-action. Will you take a minute and join our virtual march for women’s right and lives?

Dear Advocate-

From January 20 to 27, Advocates for Youth is joining the first-ever Trust Women Week, an online mass mobilization for women’s lives and rights. This unique collaborative campaign is working with MoveOn.org and more than 50 organizations across the nation, including coordinating partner, the Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign, to let legislators know that reproductive health, reproductive justice, and reproductive …

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From The New York Times Editorial Board:

But the message from Iowa was crystal clear: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman Jr., Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry all stand ready to restrict a woman’s right to make her own childbearing decisions and deny essential health care to millions of women.

The Republican field is united in its determination to overturn Roe v. Wade; to appoint Supreme Court justices supportive of that goal; and to end government payments to Planned Parenthood for family planning services, cancer screening

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a guest post from Megan Evans, MD, MPH. Megan is the Past-President of Medical Students for Choice.

Like most of the pro-choice community, I was shocked by Secretary Sebelius of the Department of Health and Human Services overruling the FDA’s decision to make Plan B over-the-counter and available for all ages. This was unexpected, unprecedented, and extremely unfortunate.

Experts, who we count on for guidance and sound evidence-based medicine, have repeatedly shown Plan B to be not only extremely effective, but incredibly safe. Although …

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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.

This year’s theme "Getting to Zero" supports UNAIDS’ multi-year Getting to Zero strategy that puts forward three core visions: Zero New Infections, Zero AIDS Related Deaths, and Zero Discrimination. The theme underscores the importance of continuing to focus on preventing new infections, ensuring access to treatment, and ending stigma …

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Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant baked into Apple’s iPhone 4S, is supposed to be a technological wunderkind. Tell it to generate a list of the best Chinese restaurants in Washington, DC, and it does so in a matter of seconds. Ask Siri to find you local pharmacies that sell, say, Viagra, and it shows you relevant pharmacy addresses and phone numbers in a pinch.

Ask Siri, though, to find you a local abortion clinic (via commands and questions like "Find me an abortion clinic…" or "I need an abortion…" …

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by Marlene G. Fried, Hampshire College

Editor’s Note: This article is part of the Hyde Amendment blogathon. It was published on RH Reality Check and is cross-posted from the National Network of Abortion Funds.

The Hyde Amendment turns 35 this month. This provision, prohibiting federal Medicaid coverage of abortion in almost all circumstances, was the beginning of the anti-abortion movement’s post-Roe, all-out effort to ban abortion. It was a gateway bill, opening the door to the flood of restrictions that today constrict a woman’s …

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We just sent out the following email. If you have a spare minute this weekend or next week, please sign our new petition to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. We’re asking for her to support something that might seem obvious to all of you, but for some reason is under attack from the conservative right wing: the ability for all women to access no-copay birth control — including those at Catholic and other religious affiliated colleges and universities.

Dear Activists,

Young women who

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Well, here’s something that we need to stop. A new abstinence-only-until-marriage funding bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives:

From the National Abstinence Education Association:

Yesterday, legislation was announced on the floor of the House of Representatives that will restore funding for Abstinence–Centered Education by reallocating prevention funds for this purpose. The Abstinence-Centered Education Reallocation Act, sponsored by Rep. Randall Hultgren (R-IL), is a bill that will put a priority on the sexual risk avoidance message found in abstinence programs. "Since President Obama chose to eliminate all

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Advocates for Youth’s staff member (and Amplify contributor) Trina Scott was on CNN yesterday to talk about a recent study focusing on the sexual health of African American youth. Check out her feature interview below:

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Some good news from The Guardian:

A court has blocked key parts of a Texas anti-abortion law drawn up by Rick Perry, the state’s governor and the leading Republican presidential candidate, which would force women seeking terminations to view a sonogram and listen to the heartbeat of their foetus.

A federal court judge also struck down a requirement that doctors describe the unborn baby to the mother in the hope that she would change her mind about an abortion. The judge said the provisions were an unconstitutional intrusion on

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By Mary Martin Vance

Editor’s Note: Mary coordinates Teen Health Now, the youth council of the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina. A Denver transplant, she has several years of experience working with nonprofits that focus on pregnancy prevention, healthcare and immigration reform. Mary holds a bachelors degree in social work from Christopher Newport University and an MSW from the University of Denver. She lives in Raleigh with her social worker/professional chef husband, and is currently working on certification to become a doula.


(Originally published

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This post was originally published on RH Reality Check.

By Alison Yager

Earlier this week, New York City announced that all public middle and high schools must provide a semester of sex education in 6th or 7th grade, and again in 9th or 10th grade. This is a tremendous achievement for the many individuals and agencies who have worked toward this goal for many years. The Sex Education Alliance of New York City (SEANYC), a broad-based coalition, has provided a large tent under which advocates gathered with the …

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Want 500 Trojan condoms? Want to help us build a sexually healthy nation? Then apply to become a Great American Condom Campaign SafeSite for Fall 2011 — applications are now open for U.S. college students ages 18 to 29. More info below.

Exciting news! Applications to become a Great American Condom Campaign Fall Semester 2011 SafeSite are now open!

In case you forgot, The Great American Condom Campaign is a youth-led grassroots movement to reduce unintended pregnancies and the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections by normalizing

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Celebrate International Youth Day and Reflect Back on the International Year of Youth!

Today, nearly half the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — are under the age of 25. Together, we as young people can work together to raise our voices on programs and policies that affect our sexual and reproductive health information and services.

Globally:
– Each year, 15 million young women ages 15 to 19 give birth, of which 13 million are in developing countries.
– Pregnancy-related complications are the leading cause of …

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Editor’s Note: Emilio Vicente, a member of Advocates for Youth’s Youth Activist Network and an alum of the North Carolina Youth Leadership Council, recently participated in the New Organizing Institute’s 2011 New Media BootCamp, a week-long immersion training designed to provide activists with the skills required to take on leadership roles in new media. Below he shares some of his thoughts on the experience.

Emilio was invited to attend in recognition of his tireless work on immigrant rights as well as a number of sexual and reproductive health …

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Good news. The Associated Press reports today:

Millions of women may soon gain free access to a broad menu of birth control methods, thanks to a recommendation issued Tuesday by health experts advising the government.

An Institute of Medicine panel recommended that the government require health insurance companies to cover birth control for women as a preventive service, without copayments. Contraception — along with such care as diabetes tests during pregnancy and screening for the virus that causes cervical cancer — was one of eight recommended preventive services for

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This post was originally published on RH Reality Check.

By Jodi Jacboson

One of the most pervasive characteristics of the anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-woman movement, of which Michele Bachmann proudly places herself in the forefront, is that they are also anti-science and anti-evidence and openly flout sound medical practices based on evidence and clinical practice and approved by legitimate medical boards and associations.

These practices have long been a feature of so-called crisis pregnancy centers, which exist solely to confuse women seeking to terminate a pregnancy, often have …

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This post was originally published on RH Reality Check.

By Kathleen Reeves

In the past, the organization Catholics for Choice has used Catholic World Youth Day as an opportunity to probe the Church’s ban on contraception, running media campaigns during the Youth Day gatherings in Toronto and Cologne (in 2002 and 2005, respectively). The campaign, called Condoms4Life, was originally launched on World AIDS Day ten years ago, with posters and newspaper ads proclaiming, “Catholic people care. Do our bishops?”  The current campaign features both heterosexual and gay …

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World Population Week Blogathon: July 10-16, 2011
Blog and Take Action on International Family Planning!

This week through July 16, Amplify will be hosting our second annual World Population Week Blogathon.

Today, nearly half the world’s population—more than 3 billion people—are under the age of 25. Collectively, we as young people have a critical role to play in discussing population issues from a rights-based approach, particularly regarding sexual and reproductive health and rights. The ability to access sexual and reproductive health information and services is a human right that …

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By Rev. Tomi Jacobs-Ziobro, Concerned Clergy for Choice

This post was originally published on RH Reality Check.

We hear plenty from religious leaders who see something wrong with contraception and I want to clear the air. People need to know that my faith teaches that access to contraception is an ethical and social good. I, along with clergy from many different faiths, support those who decide to rely upon contraception. When people are able to obtain these vital family planning services, they are able to prevent unplanned …

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Today, June 27th, is National HIV Testing Day:

…NHTD is an annual campaign coordinated by the National Association of People with AIDS to encourage people of all ages to "Take the Test, Take Control."

Early HIV diagnosis is critical, so people who are infected can fully benefit from available life-saving treatments. Currently, almost 40 percent of people with HIV are not diagnosed until they already have developed AIDS. That can be up to 10 years after they first became infected with HIV. Finding out whether you are infected with

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By Amanda Marcotte

This post was originally published on RH Reality Check.

At this year’s Netroots Nation in Minneapolis, I was fortunate enough to be on two panels, one on right wing extremism and one, put together by Advocates for Youth, on the war on contraception. Jos at Feministing blogged the war on contraception panel, where Sarah Audelo from Advocates, Kaili Joy Gray from Daily Kos and I had a conversation on the escalating attacks on contraception access from the religious right. I’m happy to note that the …

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By Jodi Jacobson

This post was originally published on RH Reality Check
.

The Republican/Tea Party majorities in the House of Representatives are, literally, salivating at the prospect of cutting aid to the world’s poorest women. 

On Wednesday [May 25], Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-MI), put out a press release with this gleeful introductory paragraph:

"I’m happy to announce that the winning program of the first round of YouCut is the UN Populations Fund (UNFPA) which will save $400 million in taxpayer dollars over ten years. This program, which is

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A message from our Youth Activist Network Coordinator Julia:

Are you a young person (14-24 years old) who is…
– Passionate about fighting for young people’s rights to sexual health information and services?
– Interested in connecting with youth leaders from across the country?
– Dedicated to developing skills to make a difference in your community?

Consider applying for one of Advocates for Youth’s programs!
If selected, you will have opportunities to: develop new organizing and leadership skills; become informed on sexual and reproductive health issues; connect with …

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Note: This post was originally published on AlterNet.

By Amanda Marcotte

Last week, “The Rachel Maddow Show” ran a story on Michigan politics that had footage so distressing it apparently created an avalanche of mail for the show. The new Republican governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, signed a law that allows the state to functionally dissolve local governments and hand them over to “emergency managers,” who are using their new powers to enact a series of wish list items for conservatives under the guise of fiscal responsibility. It’s …

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By Amanda Marcotte
April 24, 2011

This post was originally published on RH Reality Check.

In a recent piece for the American Prospect, Sarah Posner outlined how the fringe of the religious right increasingly dictates the larger conservative agenda, as evidenced by the bold Republican push towards open war on contraception. Sarah writes about the reason for the attacks on Planned Parenthood:

It is not solely about shutting down Planned Parenthood’s federal funding because the organization provides abortion services (indeed federal funding of abortion is already banned by

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Advocates for Youth staff and three members of the Advocates International Youth Leadership Council attended the 44th session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) last week at the United Nations in New York.

Interestingly, the vicious fight for sexual and reproductive health and rights has not just been happening on the Hill in Washington, DC — it’s also occurring at the United Nations.

For those not so familiar with United Nations meetings, the Commission on Population and Development works to follow-up on the implementation of the Program …

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A bullseye from Gail Collins of The New York Times:

Part of the price of keeping the government operating this week is another debate over the financing of Planned Parenthood. Whoopee.

At least it’ll give us a chance to reminisce about Senator Jon Kyl, who gave that speech against federal support for Planned Parenthood last week that was noted for: A) its wild inaccuracy; and B) his staff’s explanation that the remarks were "not intended to be a factual statement."

This is the most memorable statement to come

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 22, 2011 on RH Reality Check.

By Brigitte Amiri, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, & Robert Doody, Executive Director, ACLU of South Dakota

Today, South Dakota’s governor, Dennis Daugaard, signed a bill that creates unprecedented restrictions on access to abortion care. As we’ve blogged before, this law requires women to wait 72 hours between the first counseling session with the doctor and the abortion; it also requires women to first visit "crisis pregnancy centers," entities that …

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One year ago, on March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This law made a major difference in young people’s ability to access reproductive health care.

What it did: Guaranteed that preventive care, including lifesaving screenings for breast and cervical cancer, is available at no cost.

What it didn’t do: Guarantee that birth control is included in the definition of "preventive care" and is available at no cost.

Birth control is key to preventive care! Sign the

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By Martha Kempner

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on RH Reality Check.

In a Wall Street Journal column over the weekend, Jennifer Moses accuses teens of dressing like prostitutes but blames their mothers for allowing, and funding, it.  Moses, author of Food and Whine: Confessions of a New Millennium Mom, posits two theories about why moms give in to their daughters’ demands for skimpy clothing and high heels.&

The first is a certain sort of pride in their child’s appearance and a desire to help …

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We’re excited to announce the upcoming premiere of the film "Let’s Talk About Sex," which was produced in collaboration with Advocates for Youth! Watch it on April 9 on TLC. More details below.

Let's Talk About Sex - Coming April 9


LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX presents an innovative and empowering
new vision for shifting our culture’s approach to young people and
sexual health in the United States
.

Invite your friends on Facebook to tune in to LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX on April 9!

While American teens live in a society that uses sex to sell everything …

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Education is the right of every student regardless of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity…it becomes more apparent with each case that this is a problem that is not going away – sometimes even teachers and administrators contribute to the problem. The alarming increase in teen suicides has shown us just how far we are from making our children’s schools safe spaces. We must take action to protect the safety of our students and enshrine the values of equality and opportunity in our classrooms.

Rep.

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I would argue that regressives like [New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Ross] Douthat are not concerned with the sexual health and well-being of America’s youth…You need only to look to their own abstinence-only-until-marriage curricula to see what they are really thinking. Heritage Keepers tells young people, "When couples live together outside of marriage, the relationships are ‘weaker, more violent, and less [equal]." It goes on to say, "People who live together before marriage experience ‘significantly more difficulty in their marriage with adultery, alcohol, drugs and independence [not wanting

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Editor’s Note: This post is part of the 2011 Amplify International Women’s Day Blogathon. Click here to learn more about how you can join this week of action.

As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, it is important to remember that in so many private and public ways, women have always been at the forefront of or the backbone of every important social movement. Sojourner was a friend and colleague of many of the abolitionist leaders of her day including Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass,

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March 8 marks International Women’s Day — a day to put women, women’s rights, and equality on the global agenda. The 2011 theme for International Women’s Day is:

Equal access to education, training and science and technology: The pathway to decent work for women.

Young women often face challenges to accessing education, training, and opportunities in the fields of science and technology. Gender inequities, gender-based violence, traditional harmful practices, unwanted pregnancy, adolescent maternal mortality, and vulnerability to Sexually Transmitted Infections, including HIV, make it even harder for young …

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on RH Reality Check. This is our small way of saying thank you to Amie for all of her wonderful contributions — be sure to check out the links below!

By Brady Swenson

This week RH Reality Check is saying goodbye to Amie Newman.  Amie has been a solid foundation for our team for almost five years.  Through the years her insightful and spirited writing has enlightened and focused our community on a wide array of the many challenges facing reproductive …

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These are treacherous times for women’s reproductive rights and access to essential health care. House Republicans mistakenly believe they have a mandate to drastically scale back both even as abortion warfare is accelerating in the states. To stop them, President Obama’s firm leadership will be crucial. So will the rising voices of alarmed Americans.
The New York Times Editorial Board, 2/25/2011

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on RH Reality Check.

By Amanda Marcotte

When it comes to the world of feminist writer/activists, I definitely fall on the “writer” side of the line. Most of my life is researching, conducting interviews, pitching pieces, and, of course, staring at my computer, trying to think of a verb that’s dynamic but not pretentious. I love giving speeches, but they’re usually of the 20-60 minute long variety meant to educate, analyze and entertain (and there’s always a Q&A), and I’m always …

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A friendly reminder. The 30th anniversary conference of the Civil Liberties & Public Policy program is fast approaching! Read more below, and register here.

Also, the deadline for applying for a travel stipend is this Friday, February 25th! More info here. The conference will be held at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.


On April 8-10, 2011, join other activists from across the U.S. and internationally to build a stronger movement for reproductive justice and social change. Come to revitalize your political passion, energy and imagination, …

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(Originally published on The Huffington Post)

By Angela Baxter, Sarah Audelo, and Carmen Barkley

Two young people walk into a congressional briefing on proposed restrictions to abortion access and funding. They see their peers, their friends sprinkled throughout the crowd. The briefing begins. Expert after expert shares the devastating impact these restrictions would have on various communities, but there is no mention of youth. So, one of them asks: "What impact would these restrictions have on young people?" Not one of the "experts" could answer.

The …

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A message from our Youth Activist Network Coordinator Julia:


In just two months, the new Congress has proposed the most dangerous legislative assault on women’s health care in American history.

We need your help! Advocates for Youth, Choice USA, and Spiritual Youth for Reproductive Freedom have joined together for today’s National Youth Call-In Day. Together, we can make sure that Congress receives thousands of calls TODAY telling them to stop their War on Women. TELL THEM:

1. Vote NO on the Continuing Resolution!

Congress is considering a …

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Earlier today we sent out an email alert on the latest Congressional attack on abortion rights. See the text below.

As the email mentions, a House Judiciary Subcommittee is holding a hearing today on the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," an extreme bill that would establish a permanent, blanket prohibition on any and all federal spending on abortion care.

Our very own Sarah Audelo is attending the hearing, which is happening right now. You can follow her live tweets here.

We’ll keep you posted on the latest …

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[Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on RH Reality Check.]

By Jodi Jacobson

The Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network (LACWHN or Red de Salud in Spanish) is calling for solidarity in support of a 21-year-old Baja California (Mexico) woman sentenced to 23 years in prison for losing her baby. Red de Salud is a regional network of women’s health and rights organizations in existence since the mid-eighties.

In what Red de Salud calls "a serious case of discrimination and violence against women," the young woman …

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The following originally appeared in The Huffington Post.

By James Wagoner
President, Advocates for Youth

Well, that didn’t take long.

18 days into the new Congressional session and Republicans have already introduced the so-called “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” Never mind that there is already no public funding for abortion in this country – an act of manifest discrimination against poor women in America – the House leadership has just declared its clear intent to further diminish access to legal abortion care in this country.

But, wait …

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(Originally published on RH Reality Check)

By Andrew Jenkins

This article is first in a series published in conjunction with Choice USA in an effort to highlight the importance of inter-generational dialogue within the reproductive justice movement and to uncover ways to work together across generations in order to sustain and thrive. It is also part of a larger series of articles published to commemorate the 38th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which is on Saturday, January 22nd, 2011.

When I arrived at …

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Originally published on RH Reality Check:

Today is Human Trafficking Awareness Day and RH Reality Check is featuring a series in collaboration with Race Talk to pay respect to those who’ve experienced this severe human rights abuse.

The series, edited by Juhu Thukral, includes a look back at the history of anti-trafficking efforts and where they have led us, and thinking about the most effective path forward to prevent others from being trafficked.

As Juhu writes in her introduction to the series:

In order to think

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Editor’s Note: The following article was originally published on RH Reality Check.

By Jodi Jacobson

In an act that Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said "brought shame to Capitol Hill" last Thursday, the House Republican leadership banded together at the last minute, and on purely specious grounds, to defeat a piece of legislation six years in the making aimed at preventing child marriage worldwide. The bill was supported by a wide-ranging coalition of groups including the International Women’s Health Coalition and CARE-USA.

An estimated 60 million girls in …

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By Kate Ott

[Editor’s Note: We wanted to thank Dr. Kate Ott, Deputy Director of the Religious Institute (full bio here), for contributing the following piece to our community here at Amplify. If you haven’t yet heard about the Catholic Church’s reconsiderations on condom distribution, make sure to read Dr. Ott’s commentary below. Also check out her mention of Alicia Johnson, an Advocates Youth Activist Network member and campus organizer who has been doing amazing work as the Chair of Boston College Students for Sexual Health.

A …

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By Jodi Jacobson

This post was originally published on RH Reality Check. Jodi is RH Reality Check’s Editor-in-Chief.

Once upon a time, newspapers such as the Washington Post and the New York Times displayed an ability to discern fact from fiction. It seems that era is over. Today the Washington Post swallowed hook, line, and sinker the rhetoric of the far right anti-choice community on "ella," a new emergency contraceptive now available to women in the United States.

Let’s start with the headline of the article, which …

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 When it comes to sex, should I always avoid the things that make me uncomfortable? How do I know if the person I’m flirting with is safe to date? Is hooking up always damaging? What do I say to a friend who’s making sexual choices I think might be bad for her? What if that friend is questioning my choices? How do I encourage others to be safe and sane about sex without teaching them shame?

All women have questions at the intersections of sex and safety. And it’s …

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The next two weeks could be the most important weeks in the lives of thousands of young people in America. After ten years, the House and Senate will finally vote on the DREAM Act, a bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented young people (known as "DREAMers") who have grown up in the United States after being brought to the country as children.  (For more information go to www.dreamactivist.org.)

Congress rarely votes on a bill of such huge importance to young people, and it is …

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Originally published on RH Reality Check

By Dr. Lynette Leighton

As a family physician, I provide comprehensive health care for all of my patients, including safe abortions for women who decide to end a pregnancy. I’ve cared for many women who came to me in crisis when they learned they were pregnant. The last thing my patients need is to be misled by anti-abortion organizations masquerading as health clinics. I’m strongly in favor of the New York City bill requiring crisis pregnancy centers to disclose that they do not …

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(Originally published on RH Reality Check)

By Brigitte Amiri, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, and Tricia Herzfeld, ACLU of Tennessee

"Mom, am I more likely to go to jail because you and Dad aren’t married?" Imagine your sixth grader coming home and asking you that question after being taught family life in school. That’s what happened to Caroleigh Heaton in Maryville, Tennessee. Ms. Heaton contacted us, and we obtained the abstinence-only-until-marriage program used throughout the Maryville school district. We found that in addition to withholding vital information that …

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By Amie Newman, Managing Editor of RH Reality Check
(Originally published here.)

Trigger warning: This post contains testimony from Haitian women and girls describing their rape or sexual assault.

My name is XXXX. I am a victim of the January 12 earthquake. I have survived the loss of my husband, three rapes (two since the earthquake), suicide attempts and threats on my life. I am living in the Champ de Mars camp in Port-au-Prince and live in constant fear that I will be raped or harmed again, but

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Today is the Make It Better Project’s National Day of Action for LGBT youth. Take a few minutes and help us speak out for the rights of LGBT youth and students across the U.S.:

Dear Activist,

In response to the tragic suicides by LGBT youth in recent weeks, Advocates for Youth is taking action by joining the Make It Better Project. Today, October 12th is the National Day of Action to call Congress in support of the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act.

The recent suicides

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We just sent out the following alert. Help us spread the word — email this blog post to 3 of your friends, and click here to share our new petition on Facebook. Thanks!

Congratulations! After weeks of work — including thousands of emails and more than 100 in-person meetings on Capitol Hill by youth activists from around the country — Senator Frank Lautenberg and Representative Barbara Lee have officially introduced a bill that would repeal Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program funding.

Now that this bill has been introduced, we need your

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We just sent out the following action alert. If you have a minute to spare, please call your Senators. Your voice is needed NOW. Thank you!

Hey Everyone-

This is an incredibly important week in Washington, DC for young people. Two major pieces of legislation are scheduled to be voted on in the Senate as part of the larger Defense Appropriations bill. Voting will begin as early as tomorrow on the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the DREAM Act.

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is a policy that

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"As a pediatrician and epidemiologist and the first woman president in the history of Chile, President Bachelet is acutely aware of the challenges that affect women, particularly in the developing world. As President, she was a tough and seasoned diplomat and a popular head of state who demonstrated a talent for bringing people together. I look forward to partnering with her as she works to elevate women’s issues within the UN system and on the international stage."

That’s U.S. United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice on Michelle Bachelet, former …

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Ever wish you could give your friends something that could save their lives? Now you can! Apply today to receive a box of 500 Trojan brand condoms to distribute this Fall.

Teach your friends about safer sex and become a part of a network of over 1,000 youth activists advocating for sexually healthy campuses.

Also, click the play button below to listen to Sarah Audelo (Advocates for Youth’s Senior Domestic Policy Manager) and Julia Reticker-Flynn (Advocates’ Youth Activist Network Coordinator) discuss the importance of the GACC on 94.9

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EDITOR’S NOTE: When we saw this column in The Washington Times, warning parents about colleges "poisoning" students with information and frank discussion about sex and sexuality, we knew it needed a response. We asked rising Harvard sophomore Leah Reis-Dennis, and her mother Elizabeth Reis, to weigh in. Here’s what they said.


Leah:

In her recent Washington Times piece, "Values a vaccine for poisoned Ivy," Rebecca Hagelin cautions parents with presumably frightening "snapshots of what your child might encounter" at college. Hagelin cites such supposedly alarming campus …

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Our Youth Activist Network Coordinator Julia just sent out the following email…we hope you’ll send in an application today!

We have just opened applications for the fall semester GACC! Click here to learn more and apply.

The Great American Condom Campaign is a youth-led grassroots movement to make the U.S. a sexually healthy nation. Each year, GACC members give out 1,000,000 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.

This campaign

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Blog and Take Action on Amplify’s International Youth Day Blog-a-thon:
August 8-14, 2010

Today, nearly half the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — are under the age of 25. Together, we as young people can work together to leverage our voices on program and policy decision-making bodies that determine whether young people have access to comprehensive youth sexual and reproductive health information and services.

Globally:

  • Each year, 15 million young women ages 15 to 19 give birth, of which 13 million are in developing countries.
  • Pregnancy-related

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Claire Buffie is Miss New York 2010. She is a staunch and outspoken advocate for LGBT equality — on her website, she calls the gay rights movement the "civil rights movement of our generation."

Below Claire shares her thoughts on the recent Proposition 8 decision. We hope that you’ll post a comment supporting her advocacy at missny2010.blogspot.com.

OVERTURNED. EQUALITY WINS.

The highly anticipated announcement yesterday about Proposition 8 definitely came as something to celebrate! In this historic decision, the federal court ruled Proposition 8 — California’s ban on

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PRESS RELEASE: States Face Choice between Failed Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs and New Comprehensive Approach

Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) offers funding for comprehensive sex education in the U.S.

July 30, 2010 – Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officially launched the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP), allowing states to apply for $55 million this year in first-of-its-kind federal funding for comprehensive sex education. H.H.S. also opened applications for states to apply for $50 million in funding to support Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage programs —programs which …

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World Population Week Blog-a-thon: July 11-17, 2010
Blog and Take Action on International Family Planning!

This week through July 17, Amplify will host the FIRST World Population Week Blog-a-thon. This year’s theme, Everyone Counts, underscores the importance of data for development. Reliable, disaggregated data is crucial to progress but often data collection is not broken down by age, gender, or sexual orientation and identity. All young people need to be counted so that programs allocate resources to respond to our sexual and reproductive health needs.

Today, nearly half …

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By James Wagoner
President, Advocates for Youth

This year’s NFL draft offered an unexpected, and most edifying, moment of social consciousness when the raucous audience made up of pro football fans from around the country, broke into a chant of "She said NO, she said NO" when the Pittsburgh Steelers’ "time on the clock" was announced from the podium. The chant referred to the controversy surrounding Pittsburgh quarterback, Ben Rothlesberger, who has been the central figure in a number of sexual assault allegations. The credibility and serial nature of …

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by James Wagoner
President, Advocates for Youth

Lost in the shuffle of analysis of the new health care reform legislation is the fact that Democrats included over $250 million for failed Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. The funds had been inserted in the health care reform legislation by Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) during Senate Finance Committee consideration of the bill last summer and, somehow, quietly survived the process of revisions that went on last fall.

Never mind that these programs place the health and lives of young people at risk by …

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Editor’s Note: This post is by Missy Bird, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Action Council. 

For over two years, advocates concerned about the reproductive health care of Utah’s teens have campaigned for a reform to our current sex education curriculum in Utah. Planned Parenthood Action Council (PPAC) ran a statewide campaign, the Prevention Now Campaign, whose staff and volunteers worked tirelessly to gather more than 10,000 petition signatures in support of this change. We held numerous town hall meetings, and garnered the endorsement of many policy makers and elected officials …

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Editor’s Note: This post is from James Wagoner, President of Advocates for Youth

Last fall, conservatives in Congress managed to include funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in one of the health care reform bills. Currently abstinence-only funding remains in the Senate bill that will serve as the backbone of the final health care package. Without your assistance, these funds- $250 million over the next five years- will remain in the bill. We are continuing to work with colleagues on the Hill to remove this funding, but we need your help! It’s

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The Utah state legislature withdrew H.B. 12, the bill that would prosecute women for illegal abortions and some miscarriages.
 
And it happened because of you!
 
Last week, through Amplify, we asked for your help in calling national attention to this dangerous piece of legislation. Your efforts focused public pressure on this bill and forced Utah politicians to back down under national scrutiny.
 
This story would not have received national attention without your hard work, and I wanted to thank you personally for your help.
 
Over …