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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.

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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What Cosmo Gets Right and Wrong About Abortion Stigma in Texas

by: Natalie San Luis

Wed Jul 16, 2014 at 01:00 PM CDT

When Jill Filipovic, senior political writer at Cosmopolitan, visited Texas last month, she was exposed to the culture of abortion stigma and shame that Texans experience regularly.

"Abortion stigma exists in every state in this country, but it is particularly powerful in Texas," she writes.

As a Texan and a woman who first learned about abortion in a Baptist church, her words ring true: Texas has an abortion stigma problem that fuels dangerous attacks on women's and trans men's autonomy.

But I'm also a Texan and a woman who witnessed last summer's protests at the Capitol, the incredible work accomplished by grassroots organizations, and the increasingly powerful progressive momentum across the state. Texas has a more complex story to tell.

Read more about Cosmo's coverage of Texas abortion stigma after the jump.

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3 Reason Why Texas Needs a Free Birth Control Program Like Colorado's

by: Natalie San Luis

Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 01:30 PM CDT

Last Thursday, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced that the Colorado teen birth rate has plummeted by 40 percent after the state began offering free contraceptives to low-income women.

Since 2009, Colorado has covered the cost for more than 30,000 IUDs for low-income women in the state. IUDs, as Supreme Court Justice/Supreme Defender of Women Ruth Bader Ginsburg has pointed out, can cost $1,000 for women without insurance, "nearly a month's full-time pay for workers earning the minimum wage."

As a result, Colorado has witnessed a significant decline in the number of teens giving birth and an accompanying drop in WIC and healthcare costs.

Meanwhile, Texas' teen birth rate and repeat teen birth rate remain higher than the national average. The Texas Legislature needs to follow Colorado's lead and make birth control more accessible for all women.

Three reasons why Texas needs free birth control after the jump.

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Texas Teen Pregnancy Rate Remains Higher Than National Average

by: Natalie San Luis

Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 01:00 PM CDT

Telling teens that sex makes them as worthless as a piece of chewed-up gum or a used toothbrush may not be the most effective form of birth control after all.

The Texas Tribune reported on Texas' disappointing teen pregnancy rate and how it stacks up against the nation this week.

Between 1991 and 2012, the national teen birth rate dropped by more than 50 percent. Unsurprisingly, Texas has not kept up with the trend.

Read more about Texas' teenage birth rate after the jump.

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