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activism

Abortion Activist Given Canada's Highest Honour!

On July 1, 2008, I became even more of a proud Canadian. This past Canada Day, Dr. Henry Morgentaler became one of several new inductees into the Order of Canada (our highest honour). I think it was long overdue.

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Win-win

I had an abortion in my early twenties.

It was not easy to afford. I was working 60 hours a week, in a fledgling business with a lot of overhead expenses. I was fresh out of a college education I had paid for myself, and was also caring for a parent at the time. There were no resources through public health in Chicago I could use to help with the expense. My partner was pitching in for half, but all the same, coming up with four hundred dollars was an additional struggle during an experience which was already challenging without any financial issues at play.

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Young Adults Testify Against Abstinence-Only Sex Education

In the last week, a congressional committee began -- finally!

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The Revolution Will Be Televised (and I'll find a way to be okay with that)

My plans for last weekend were pretty mellow: I was going to work on my taxes, do a little housecleaning, maybe get started on my garden now that the sun is back out, hang out with my sweetheart, finish some writing, practice piano and play some Scrabble. I was going to tend to myself, for the most part.

The weekend I would up having was quite a bit different.

Last Wednesday, I raced against the clock -- I had to go work at the clinic the next day -- to get everything up for our focus this month on sexual assault and abuse as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. That included getting together a page and other materials for the "I Was Raped" shirts which months back, I'd agreed to help Jennifer Baumgardner distribute as part of a project to increase rape awareness, both through these t-shirts and the conversation we'd hoped they'd start, as well as through her developing film of the same name, which will focus on first-person stories from survivors.

The New York Times first covered

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What's rape got to do with it?

Why does a sex-positive sexuality site like this one talk about rape and abuse so often?

We should all know by now that rape and sex are not the same thing, after all. And yet, over the years at Scarleteen, we've answered a lot of questions about rape and abuse, supported a lot of abuse and rape victims and survivors, and we've got content about both housed on a site which is primarily about sexuality, sexual health and relationships.

One big reason is that an awful lot of us in the world -- and at this site -- are rape and abuse survivors, or people trying to get free of abuse. While our rapes or assaults certainly are or were not sex for us, they often impact our sexuality and our sex lives a whole lot. Sexuality doesn't exist in a vacuum: it's made up of all of who we are, and greatly influenced by the whole of our life experiences. In so many ways, rape and sexual assault can really hijack our sexuality, due to body memories -- the places we were assaulted tend to trigger painful

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I Was Raped: Wear Your Voice Out

You can get an I Was Raped t-shirt seen on CNN through Scarleteen. Break your silence -- or help someone else with theirs -- just by getting dressed, help increase awareness of rape and support Scarleteen, all at the same time. Now in extended sizes for women and men.

10 Questions with Jennifer Baumgardner

Jennifer talks with us about her new project about rape, which we're participating in at Scarleteen, what the project can do to increase awareness about rape and survivors, where she thinks we're at culturally with rape issues, and what young people can do to help transform rape culture and their own lives.

My Sistahs

Created by and for young women of color to provide information and offer support on sexual and reproductive health issues through education and advocacy. Through monthly features, message boards, and online peer education young women receive information on activism, culture, sexual health, and other issues that are important to them.

Happy New Year, and a Happy 10th Year to Scarleteen!

Not only do we all usher in a new year today, but 2008 marks the start of our 10th year at Scarleteen. Holy moley! I've got some plans a'brewing for some anniversary festivities throughout '08, but I'd like to usher in the year with you with a few ideas for some great resolutions to consider adding to your own lists.

Get tested. If you've been or are currently sexually active, and have not yet started getting at least one full STI screening every year, make this your year to step it up and start. Take a look at the current poll we've got up on the front page of Scarleteen right now, which is pretty much in line with what sexual health experts find when it comes to teen and young adult testing. Most young people who are or have been sexually active have NOT been tested, and of those who have, very few do so as a habit. Too, as most sexual health clinics will also attest, far fewer men than women get tested (the average is usually that for every ten gals who get tested, one guy does).

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