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Username: Natalie San Luis
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Created: Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:04 PM CDT
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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.

Wendy Davis Pledges to Make College More Affordable, Expand Technical Training Programs

by: Natalie San Luis

Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 04:00 PM CDT

On Tuesday, Senator Wendy Davis announced her plans to make higher education more accessible and affordable for Texas students.

Her approach would help keep tuition in check, improve graduation rates, and facilitate technical training for students who choose not to attend a four-year university.

"We made this state strong by investing in our schools and making them affordable," said Senator Davis. "At the very time when we need an educated workforce to lead the economy of the future, we need to put quality education within reach for Texas families."

Read more about Wendy Davis' higher education proposal after the jump.

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Lilith Fund 2013 Report: Abortion Access Barriers Met With Generous Donor Support

by: Natalie San Luis

Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 01:00 PM CDT

Despite the devastating attacks on reproductive justice from the state legislature in 2013, grassroots organizations and their supporters are working harder than ever to ensure that Texans have access to abortion funds.

The Lilith Fund, an organization that provides abortion funds to Texans in need, recently released their annual report for 2013.

"We received an unprecedented outpouring of support in the past year, with donations coming from all over the country as people watched in horror at the cruelty being inflicted on Texans needing abortions," Lilith Fund reported. "Despite the generosity, we watched our clients experience greater hardships as clinics closed and doctors were unable to provide services to those most in need."

Read more after the jump.

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New Poll: 70 Percent of Voters Are Pro-Choice

by: Natalie San Luis

Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 10:30 AM CDT

From 2011 to 2013, states adopted more abortion restrictions than they had in the previous decade, a phenomenon which led to unprecedented barriers for women and trans men seeking safe abortion care.

But according to a recent survey, most registered voters—both liberal and conservative—don't believe the government should pass any more laws to restrict a woman's right to an abortion.

Although many respondents said that they were personally against abortion, they did not believe that lawmakers should prevent others from making their own choices when faced with a pregnancy.

Read more about the poll after the jump.

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New Study: Seven of Eight Large Texas Cities Lean Liberal

by: Natalie San Luis

Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 11:00 AM CDT

A new study recently confirmed what most of us already know: Texas is gradually becoming more blueberry than tomato soup.

The study, published in American Political Science Review and profiled in the Economist, examines how liberal or conservative 67 cities are and whether those cities are responsive to their residents' political viewpoints.

Arlington, Fort Worth, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, El Paso, Houston, Dallas, and Austin were all featured in the study—and the researchers discovered that Arlington was the only metropolitan area that leaned right.

Read more about the study after the jump.

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Houston Mayor Annise Parker and City Council: Repeal Abortion Restrictions

by: Natalie San Luis

Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM CDT

On September 1, the most stringent plank of last summer's abortion bill is scheduled to take effect, threatening to shut down almost every abortion clinic in Texas—but progressive leaders statewide are fighting to ensure that a pre-Roe Texas doesn't become a reality.

As the restrictions passed last summer are challenged in court in Austin, Houston elected officials are calling for stronger federal protections of reproductive rights and the repeal of HB 2.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Houston City Council recently joined city of Austin leaders to demand a repeal of the abortion restrictions and the passage of the federal Women's Health Protection Act.

Read more about Houston officials' letter to Congress and the Texas Legislature after the jump.

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Undercover Audio: Anti-Abortion Groups Train Protestors to Track and Intimidate Patients and Staff

by: Natalie San Luis

Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 10:30 AM CDT

A disturbing video released today reveals how far anti-abortion groups are willing to go to keep Texas women from exercising their reproductive rights.

The undercover audio was obtained from "Keeping Abortion Facilities Closed," a Texa Alliance For Life training where audience members learned how to catalogue patients' and staff members' license plates, target low-income communities, physically intimidate women attempting to enter clinics, and track down new abortion providers.

"They [abortion providers] feel like they're on the run, and that's how we want to keep it," Abby Johnson of Live Action said at the training.

Watch the video and learn more about anti-choice intimidation tactics after the jump.

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UT Praised for Reaction to On Campus Sexual Assault

by: Natalie San Luis

Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 01:30 PM CDT

The University of Texas at Austin is receiving praise nationwide for its aggressive response to a student's sexual assault report.

Last month, two football players were arrested, charged with a sexual assault, and suspended from the UT team.

Typically, the stories we hear about on-campus sexual assault don't go so well: Sexual assault victims very rarely report crimes, and when they do, universities often attempt to skirt federal law and sweep the crimes under the rug. In many cases, rape "trials" that take place within a university's own judicial system only deal the perpetrator a slap on the wrist and discourage other victims from coming to the authorities.

Read more about how UT is combating sexual assault after the jump.

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Petticoat Fair Seeks Guidance From Trans Activists and Organizations After Receiving Criticism

by: Natalie San Luis

Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 10:30 AM CDT

The first step to not being transphobic is to avoid practicing transphobia—meaning, for example, to be accepting and accomodating when a trans person enters a place of business.

Petticoat Fair, an Austin lingerie store, received heavy criticism after failing to do that in late June, when trans woman Kylie Jack was asked to show proof of bottom surgery before using the fitting rooms.

But step two of not being transphobic is to recognize your own privilege, apologize, and take steps to fight back against discrimination. And as Kate Messer reported in the Austin Chronicle, the "flamewar" between pro-trans rights activists and Petticoat Fair seems to be sparking genuine dialogue and meaningful, trans-friendly changes for the store.

Read more about Petticoat Fair's efforts to become more trans inclusive after the jump.

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Planned Parenthood Texas Votes PAC Will Spend $3 Million on Statewide Elections

by: Natalie San Luis

Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 02:30 PM CDT

Planned Parenthood Texas Voters, a PAC created four months ago, has announced plans to spend $3 million on efforts to get women voters to the polls in November.

The PAC, which recently received a $1 million contribution from Planned Parenthood Chair Cecilia Boone, will use the money to target 300,000 women, both known Democrats and moderate Republicans.

According to a statement released by Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, "This new organization builds upon the historic grassroots support for women's health care that was shown last summer" and intends to play a major role in the November elections.

Read more about Planned Parenthood Texas Votes after the jump.

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New Site Offers Outlet for Women to Share Abortion Experiences

by: Natalie San Luis

Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 01:00 PM CDT

Three Texas women recently launched a website that aims to take abortion conversations in a new direction by focusing on women's lived experiences.

Not Alone (notalone.us) was founded to help share the stories of women who have had abortions, "an experience shared by millions of American women is still too often surrounded by secrecy and shame," the website says.

The site hosts videos and written testimonies by women who decided to terminate pregnancies, as well as resources for individuals who need healthcare support or want to become involved in the reproductive justice movement.

The goal of Not Alone is to destigmatize abortion by encouraging women to speak openly about their experiences, to "make it clear that abortion is neither shameful nor uncommon."

Read more about Not Alone after the jump.

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