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February 2010 E-Newsletter

News and events from the Pro-Choice Public Education Project

What's New at PEP?
As we move into 2010, all of us at PEP have been working hard to take advantage of recent organizational changes and increase our ability to raise the voices of young people around reproductive and sexual health and rights.

Council Conversations
Get to know members of the Young Women's Leadership Council in this regular feature. In this issue, Council members and February News Editors, Myra Duran and Lani Blechman get personal and deep - and maybe even share a little advice.

Power of the People
by Myra Duran, PEP Young Women's Leadership Council
“Power of the People” “No Cuts, No Fees, Education should be FREE!” and “Si Se Puede!” were some of the anthems that penetrated the air during the UC Walkout protests that took place on November 18th and 19th 2009 at the UCLA campus.

Raise Your Voice...about Immigration!
This feature is back! As immigration reform looms on the political horizon, Council is getting a head start on raising up why and how an immigration reform needs to happen now! We hope our visions and experiences will inspire you to raise your voice too

Reproductive INjustice: Immigration, Birthing, and the Prison System
by Mia Giardina, PEP Young Women's Leadership Council
As immigration becomes increasingly criminalized in the United States and undocumented immigrant women face greater threats of incarceration and state violence, undocumented mothers lose control over their births and bodies.

Imagining Reproductive Justice
Reproductive justice is not just about words on a piece of paper. It's about imagining and creating. Council is excited to introduce this new feature where we will explore the creative side of Reproductive Justice. In this issue, Adrian Catão (a friend of PEP), offers an illustrated commentary on Guatemala's recent declaration that 12 years of adoption were actually abductions.

Notes from a Departing Council Member
by Lauren Mitchell, PEP Young Women's Leadership Council
I'm grateful to have been a part of the Council, to have worked on the Reproductive Justice Cards and On Our Terms research campaign, and to be a part of a community that I will continually reach back to.

Connecting the Dots: Immigrant Rights and Reproductive Justice
by Courtney HooksPEP Young Women's Leadership Council
"Immigrant rights and reproductive justice are intrinsically linked because the reproductive health of immigrant women is profoundly affected by immigration policy." --Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas & Aishia Glasford, National Latina Insititute for Reproductive Health

November 2009 E-Newsletter


Reflections on Stupak, the RJ Movement, and Feminism
by Bianca VelezPEP Program Assistant
A few weeks ago, I attended the Day of Action against the Stupak Amendment with my organization, the Pro-Choice Public Education Project (PEP). We rode on a bus organized by the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), with colleagues I already knew, Twitter friends whose faces were now connected to their online personas, and allies fighting for immigration rights.

Where Are The Young People?
In the wake of the Stupak Amendment, which would ban coverage for abortion as part of health care reform, we are reminded of the fragile hold we have on our bodies and our lives. If Stupak is passed, young women in particular face immediate threats to their health and rights:

Announcing Our Five New Young Women's Leadership Council Members
The Young Women's Leadership Council is very excited to announce that we have accepted five new members onto our council. We conducted an intensive recruitment process over the summer months, and in the end, we chose five amazing young women who add a variety of perspectives and experiences to our current council.

From Bella to Sookie: A Look at Female Sexuality in Vampire Series
by Willo RadgensPEP Young Women's Leadership Council
We know by now that the media can influence how young people think and feel on a topic. So in this issue where we examine pop culture, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how a couple of the women in literature influencing young people today are portrayed in regards to their sexuality.

Vampire Men – Is That What We’re Looking For?
by Nondace GarrettPEP Young Women's Leadership Council
As the premiere of New Moon approaches, I can't help but marvel at the recent vampire craze. The vampire theme seems to be everywhere! Women of all ages, me included, are counting down the days, the moments until we can see Edward Cullen in all his sparkling glory on the big screen again.

My Love Affair with Pop Culture or: How I Can’t Wait for New Moon
by Lani BlechmanPEP Young Women's Leadership Council
I spent quite a few years actively rejecting popular culture. I embraced listening to alternative radio stations, dressing in alternative ways, being oblivious to the newest blockbuster hit movies.

August 2009 E-newsletter


What We Wish We Learned in Sex Ed
by PEP Young Women's Leadership Council
Let’s face it – no matter how much sex ed you get, something’s going to come up that you could never have imagined in fifth grade health class. Queefing, anyone? The uber sex educated YWLC and selected PEP staff offer what they wish they had learned in sex ed class:

Perspective from a Sex-Positive Sex Educator
by Tiffany Jules, PEP Young Women's Leadership Council
As a sexual health educator, I am very concerned with the current state of sex education in the United States. Even though there has been a push towards abstinence-only sex education through government sponsored programs; there are a number of organizations fighting for comprehensive sex education for adolescents.

Pro-Sex, Anti-Choice: A New Chapter in the War on Women's Bodies
by Symone New, RRASC InternSupported by the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program
Admittedly, when I think of the word "sexy" the last thing that comes to mind is the GOP. Words and phrases that do come to mind when I think of the Republican Party are sexual repression, anti-choice, Puritanical, outdated, chauvinistic, and theocracy.

May 2009 E-Newsletter


PEP's Young Women's Leadership Council is Looking for New Members!
The Young Women's Leadership Council of the Pro-Choice Public Education Project is seeking new members to continue its mission to be the voice and raise the voices of diverse young women in the sexual and reproductive justice movements.

Exploring Alternative Methods of Birth Control
by Nondace GarrettPEP Young Women's Leadership Council
When I think about self-care many elements that are crucial to my health come to mind – working out, eating right, ensuring I have ample relaxation and alone time, etc. Another extremely important element in my life is preventing pregnancy. As a young woman in my 20’s, it’s never something that is too far from mind.

Yoga: Meditation for the Mind, Body, and Spirit
by Lindsay SwisherPEP Young Women's Leadership Council
Last semester, I had the opportunity to take a Yoga class twice a week. I heard lots of people talking about the benefits of yoga: flexibility, energy, peace. I shrugged it off as too much of a low-impact exercise. What’s the point of exercise if I don’t leave the gym feeling sweaty and exhausted? However, after just a few weeks in the class I was hooked!

Take Care of Yourself!
by Nicole ClarkPEP Young Women's Leadership Council
The Pro-Choice Public Education Project (PEP) is dedicated to helping young women become more empowered. Although PEP is primarily focused on sexual and reproductive justice issues, the mission of PEP goes way beyond how we as young women take care of our sexual and reproductive health.

February 2009 E-newsletter


Ideal vs. Real: What Do I Want Out of a Relationship?
by Tiffany Shavon JulesPEP Young Women's Leadership Council
As I was approaching my birthday this year, I started to think about when I made the conscious decision to compromise regarding my romantic relationships. During middle school, I remember making a detailed list of the qualities that I wanted in my future mate.

Charge to Independence
by Lindsay SwisherPEP Young Women's Leadership Council
It seems as if we've reached a place in life where, for the most part, independent women are recognized and celebrated. Look at women such as Mother Teresa, Hillary Clinton, Beyoncé, and many others. Yet even with these strong role models in our lives, are we prepared to brave the world on our own?

Get With the Program
by Bianca VelezPEP Program Assistant
I’m not a ho, I’m not a slut. I’m not a bitch, nor am I “his bitch”. But I am one of the many American teens whose sexual behavior has been portrayed as “rampant promiscuity”.

What's Your Ideal Date? PEP Council Members and Staff Weigh In.
What's an ideal date? We all have different ideas about what a date means, from spending time with a long-term partner to quality time with ourselves. Here are some different ways that we would construct our ideal dates.

My New Year's Resolution: Practicing Good Consent
by Lani BlechmanPEP Young Women's Leadership Council
This year my new years resolution is to actively practice good consent. (Here's my working definition of consent: making sure it's alright before/during/after you initiate physical or sexual contact.) I didn't hear about consent until I started college a few years ago, but once I did it started changing how I looked at my own sexuality and how I have sex.

December 2008 E-newsletter


Why Obama's Presidential Win Scares Me
by Tiffany JulesPEP Young Women's Leadership Council
As Senator Barack Obama inched closer and closer to winning the US presidential race, I started to become fearful.

Being Black and a Woman: Race, Gender, and Politics
by Nicole ClarkPEP Young Women's Leadership Council
Election 2008 was an electrifying time for all of us. All around me I saw people who were never interested in politics or the election process before becoming excited at the prospect of having a female or a person of color as President.

Florida Joins Other States to Ban Same-Sex marriage
by Nondace GarrettPEP Young Women's Leadership Council
This year's election was historic, to say the least. Those of us who truly believe in equal opportunity have been waiting a long time for this moment, and now that our President-Elect embraces this principle, we can only be hopeful for our future. That is why I feel a little ungrateful for being disappointed with any aspect of this election.

Michigan Chooses to Say Yes
by Willo RadgensPEP Young Women's Leadership Council
Among the many interesting ballot proposals across the country on Election Day this year, my home state of Michigan had one concerning stem cell research.

October 2008 E-newsletter


Wanderlust 2008: Sharing stories, riding bikes
by Shelby KnoxPEP Young Women's Leadership Council
What is Wanderlust? It's not a word most people hear or say with regularity, but it tingles off the tongue with a bit of mystical lightness that hints at its meaning - a strong desire to travel.

Swarthmore Womyn of Color Collective Hosts Panel on Reproductive Justice
by Neena CherayilSwarthmore Daily Gazette
The newly-formed Swarthmore Womyn of Color Collective kicked off its first year with a panel on Reproductive Justice. The talk featured executive directors of three major reproductive justice organizations: Aimee Thorne-Thomsen of the Pro-Choice Public Education Project, Mia Mingus of Spark: Reproductive Justice Now!, and Kierra Johnson of Choice USA.

Dear Mom and Dad: I'm Queer.
by Lani BlechmanPEP Young Women's Leadership Council
Dear Mom and Dad, We've never really talked about this before, but I want to talk to you about sex. About sex and relationships and life styles and gender and identity and community. I know this will come as a shock *sarcasm* but it's true-sometimes I have sex. And here's the real bomb shell: I'm queer.

PEP announces the release of "On Our Terms" - young women of color, activism, and reproductive justice.
You can request a copy of our new report based on quantitative research about young women of color, activism, and reproductive justice.

April 2008 E-newsletter


YWLC Spring Happenings
by Nicole ClarkPEP Young Women's Leadership Council
Members of the Young Women's Leadership Council (YWLC) met in New York (PEP Headquarters!) for our 2008 Winter Convening. We always share a lot of ideas, personal stories, aspirations, and food at our Convenings, and this Convening was no different.

Abstinence is the New Feminism (and other things I learned at Harvard)
by Shelby KnoxPEP Young Women's Leadership Council
The chastity movement has grown up and gone off to college, which is no wonder, really, since legislators recently decided to focus attention and federal money on keeping unmarried adults abstaining until at least their 29th birthday. The members of Harvard's True Love Revolution, a campus chastity club, are the newest crusaders on the celibacy bandwagon.

June 2008 E-Newsletter


Gloucester Girls Say What?
by Lani BlechmanPEP Young Women's Leadership Council
The voices that are being aired – the Gloucester “top” school officials and teen pregnancy experts – are not those of the young women whose choices and decisions are being scrutinized. And I’m not interested in hearing anyone but the young women themselves.

The Contraception Failure
by Vanessa ValentiFeministing.com
Why is it that in a country where 99 percent of women will use contraception at some point in their lives, nearly half will have an unintended pregnancy?

Winter 2008 Newsletter


Download the Winter 2008 newsletter pdf

How to Do a Vaginal Self-Exam
by Lauren MitchellPEP Young Women's Leadership Council

Another Side of the Story
by Willo RadgensPEP Young Women's Leadership Council

Are We Next? Immigrant Rights and Access to Health Care
by Rashi VenkataramanPEP Young Women's Leadership Council

On Claiming My Movement: Disability and Reproductive Justice
by Mia MingusCo-Executive Director, SPARK! Reproductive Justice Now

Connecting Causes at the United States Social Forum
by Arielle NealPEP intern

The Future of Young Women's Leadership at PEP
by Nicole ClarkPEP Young Women's Leadership Council

Winter 2007 Newsletter


Download the Winter 2007 newsletter pdf

The HPV Vaccine: A Rare Victory
by Willo RadgensPEP Young Women's Leadership Council

Post-Election Round-up: Are These Results Enough?
by Lindsay SwisherPEP Young Women's Leadership Council

Why Young Women Should Become Lobbyists
by Nicole ClarkPEP Young Women's Leadership Council

Somos Trabajadores Sexuales y No Prostitutas
by Lani BlechmanPEP Young Women's Leadership Council

Reflections on a Movement
by Mary MahoneyPEP Development Associate

My Journey Towards Justice, Or: How I Left Choice Behind
by Aimee Thorne-ThomsenPEP Executive Director

Summer/Fall 2007 Newsletter


Download the Summer/Fall 2007 Newsletter pdf

Gonzales V. Carhart: What the Decision Really Means for Women
by Meredith EsserPEP Leadership Development Associate

Who Is A Worker? A Question for the Immigrant Rights Community
by Lani BlechmanPEP Young Women's Leadership Council

Breaking the Silence Around Abortion
by Aimee Thorne-ThomsenPEP Executive Director

To Bleed or Not to Bleed
by Lisa SchulterPEP intern

Poonitha
by Rashi VenkataramanPEP Young Women's Leadership Council

Fall 2006 newsletter


Download the Fall 2006 Newsletter pdf

"Rights" of Passage: Reflections on a Pro-Choice Journey
by Ebony BarleyPEP Young Women's Leadership Council

Farewell to the YWLC
by Meghan RappPEP Young Women's Leadership Council

My Child Deserves the Right to Choose
by Willo RadgensPEP Young Women's Leadership Council

Introducing PEP's Young Women's Leadership Council
PEP Young Women's Leadership Council

Where Are the Young Women?
by Aimee Thorne-ThomsenPEP Executive Director

Keeping the Faith in the Pro-Choice Movement
by Nicole ClarkPEP Young Women's Leadership Council

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On Our Terms
Reproductive Justice Cards
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