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Username: Natalie San Luis
PersonId: 8173
Created: Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:04 PM CDT
Natalie San Luis's RSS Feed
Web Page: https://twitter.com/nsanluis
Email: natalie@burntorangereport.com

Natalie San Luis is a native Austinite, a feminist, and a freelance writer who focuses on issues of reproductive justice, race, and pop culture. She enjoys reading books, eating food, and drinking Texas beer. She tweets her jokes and rants @nsanluis.

Planned Parenthood Petitions 5th Circuit to Reconsider HB 2 Ruling

by: Natalie San Luis

Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 01:00 PM CDT

Planned Parenthood and other reproductive justice advocates filed a petition yesterday requesting that full 5th Circuit Court of Appeals examine the constitutionality of HB 2, the omnibus abortion legislation passed last summer.

Although federal Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that parts of the legislation presented an undue burden to Texas women seeking abortion care, a three-judge panel ruled to uphold HB 2 in late March.

In the petition, Planned Parenthood argues that HB 2 has and will continue to make safe, legal abortion access an impossibility for many Texas women.

"This hardship further impacts women who have already lost access to birth control and preventative health care at the hands of a small group of politicians who are trying to impose their beliefs on all Texans," Yvonne Gutierrez, executive director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes Action Fund, said in a statement.

Read below the jump for more information on the petition.

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Mayor Annise Parker: Houston Homeless Population Decreased By 50 Percent Since 2012

by: Natalie San Luis

Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 10:30 AM CDT

Over 1,400 homeless individuals in Houston have found safe housing in the past two years thanks to Mayor Annise Parker's efforts to end chronic homelessness in the city.

In 2013, Mayor Parker appointed Mandy Chapman Semple to be the city's first special assistant for homeless initiatives. Additionally, a team of business leaders, nonprofits, and volunteer organizations have collaborated to create long-term housing accomodations and services.

On April 1, the city debuted an electronic placement database to help homeless Houstonians find safe, stable housing within 30 days. The system should be available to outreach teams and other providers of social services over the next few months.

Read more about Houston's initiatives to address homelessness after the jump.

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Greg Abbott Cites Racist and Sexist Social Scientist in Pre-K Education Plan

by: Natalie San Luis

Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 10:30 AM CDT

Ted Nugent isn't the only questionable figure behind Greg Abbott's campaign.

In his pre-K education plan, Abbott cited conservative social scientist Charles Murray—who believes, among other things, that men are more biologically equipped to be scientists and that people in poverty are "born lazy."

Murray has also written that "no woman has been a significant original thinker in any of the world's great philosophical traditions."

So how's that rebranding thing going, GOP?

Read below the jump for more on Charles Murray.

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Abortion Providers File New Federal Lawsuit Challenging HB 2

by: Natalie San Luis

Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 00:00 PM CDT

Whole Woman's Health and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a federal lawsuit yesterday to block two provisions of HB 2, the omnibus abortion bill that could shut down all but six clinics this fall.

The lawsuit challenges the mandate that all abortion clinics, regardless of the procedures they provide, meet the same building requirements as ambulatory surgical centers. Additionally, the plaintiffs request that the court block the admitting privileges provision for providers in the Rio Grande Valley and El Paso.

Many clinics across the state have already closed their doors since HB 2's passage.

"Our elected officials lied to all of us," Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO of Whole Woman's Health, said in a statement. "HB2 has nothing to do with improving women's health and safety; but rather it is a proven and successful strategy to end safe abortion care for women in Texas."

Read more about the lawsuit after the jump.

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Congressman Joaquin Castro Hosts Special Order Discussion on Obamacare

by: Natalie San Luis

Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 11:30 AM CDT

On Wednesday, Congressman Joaquin Castro hosted a special-order discussion on the U.S. House floor regarding the importance of the Affordable Care Act.

The March 31 deadline for open enrollment in Obamacare is approaching quickly. More than 6 million Americans have signed up.

"The United States for a long time has been the wealthiest nation on Earth," Rep. Castro said. "However, millions and millions of Americans, despite our country's wealth, have been unable to get health care insurance. Many folks have suffered a very long time."

Rep. Castro's office will hold an Affordable Care Act Enrollment Fair on Monday at the Alamodome. From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Bexar County and San Antonio residents can stop by to receive insurance information and help with enrollment.

Watch the video of Congressman Joaquin Castro's special order discussion after the jump.

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Senator Wendy Davis Addresses Equal Pay for Latina Women

by: Natalie San Luis

Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 01:00 PM CDT

The topic of equal pay for equal work has received extra attention in the past few weeks as Sen. Wendy Davis criticizes Attorney General Greg Abbott for his apathy on the issue.

At the center of the debate is a frequently repeated statistic that Texas women make 79 cents on the dollar compared to Texas men with the same position, education, and experience.

This week while visiting El Paso, Sen. Davis emphasized that this figure doesn't tell the whole story for Texans who are not white. In fact, Latina women only earn 45 cents per dollar compared to their male counterparts.

"The Texas Equal Pay Act is a commonsense bill that says:  if you do a full day of work, you earn a full day's pay," Sen. Davis said at a press conference. "This just makes sense."

Read more about the impact of equal pay on Latina Texans after the jump.

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Texas Women Crossing State Lines for Abortion Access

by: Natalie San Luis

Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 01:41 PM CDT

Since its implementation, HB 2 has posed often overwhelming challenges to women and trans men seeking legal abortions.

One Texas woman recently shared her story with the Texas Observer after she was forced to travel to Arkansas for the procedure following a second-trimester ultrasound that showed a severe brain defect.

Nineteen weeks pregnant and unable to find a healthcare provider available to perform the operation so close to the 20-week cut-off date, Sarah Guler took a costly three-day trip to a clinic in Little Rock.

Guler's story not only underscores the reasons why Texas women need access to later term abortion; it also shows how unsympathetic and dangerous the implementation of HB 2 has been toward women in need.

Read more about Guler's story after the jump.

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Grassroots Activists Celebrate Local Marijuana Decriminalization Victories

by: Natalie San Luis

Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 01:00 PM CDT

The grassroots movement for marijuana decriminalization and legalization celebrated several victories in the weekend leading up to St. Patrick's Day.

The Texas Cannabis Report highlighted four community wins for the movement across the state.

Importantly, each of the successes took place in the tomato-soupier parts of Texas, far from the liberal Austin blueberry, indicating the potential for bipartisan cooperation over this issue.

Speaking of tomato soup, does anyone have the munchies? Read more about the weekend's events after the jump.

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Austin Bike Share Sets Record at SXSW

by: Natalie San Luis

Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 10:00 AM CDT

B-cycle, the bike-share system that recently made its Austin debut, broke the North American record for daily bike checkouts last week.

From March 7 to 16, Austinites and SXSW visitors checked out B-cycle bikes over 17,000 times. On March 15, each bike was checked out an average of 10.1 times, setting the North American system record for most per-bike checkouts.

In total, B-cycle riders traversed over 22,700 miles during the 10-day period.

Austin B-cycle is a nonprofit that manages the bike-share system, which consists of 40 checkout stations and about 400 bicycles.

Read more about Austin's record-breaking week after the jump.

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Dan Patrick Backs Out of Closed-to-Press Lite Guv Debate

by: Natalie San Luis

Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 06:00 PM CDT

If you are one of the 100 members of the C Club who had planned on seeing Dan Patrick and David Dewhurst duke it out tonight, you might want to make back-up plans.

Dan Patrick pulled out of the debate yesterday evening when he realized that the event would be closed to both the public and the media.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Allen Blakemore, Patrick's senior advisor, said, "When the Patrick campaign accepted the invitation, we failed to discuss the ground rules for press access."

The president of the C Club, David Peacock, disagreed, claiming that the organizations events have always been closed to the press.

Read more about the debate after the jump.

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