Advocates' Blog
Advocates' Blog
The 2015 Urban Retreat
Tuesday, 08 September 2015 07:00

The 2015 Urban Retreat is approaching and we are so excited! Each year, Advocates for Youth’s amazing youth activists gather in Washington, D.C. for an intense weekend of training and learning from one another. The training is followed by a day on Capitol Hill, where youth activists visit their elected officials in Congress and urge them to support policies that help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.

Press Release: New National HIV/AIDS Strategy Prioritizes Sex Education and Reducing Health Disparities
Thursday, 30 July 2015 14:45

Advocates for Youth applauds the White House’s Office of National AIDS Policy on the updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), released today. Advocates is thrilled to have played a small role in helping to prioritize youth, especially young gay and bisexual men in this new strategy, including a call for age-appropriate education for all Americans before they begin engaging in HIV risk-taking behaviors.

The updated strategy moves the country forward with a renewed commitment to addressing the HIV and AIDS epidemic by 2020 by implementing a coordinated plan that includes a vision for the U.S. to “become a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination."

With feedback from youth activists around the country, Advocates provided input to the updated plan to prioritize young people, particularly young men who have sex with men (YMSM) and YMSM of color, and to push the importance of comprehensive sex education as a tool for HIV education and prevention.

This new plan not only calls for a reduction in new cases but also a laser focus on reducing disparity. Young people, especially YMSM, are at a higher risk of HIV due to factors including lack of information, and access to health care. Among young people living with HIV, fewer than half have been diagnosed.

“Young people have advocated for 30 years for their needs to be prioritized in the HIV and AIDS response. With the release of the new NHAS we know that their voices have been heard. We are excited by the renewed commitment from this Administration to ensure new HIV infections will be rare, ensure that everyone has access to the care they need regardless of circumstances, and to end HIV discrimination and stigma,” said Advocates for Youth President Debra Hauser.

We are fed up.
Tuesday, 28 July 2015 14:12

Every day, Planned Parenthood affiliates and independent abortion providers around the nation give compassionate care to women who need abortions. I am fed up with the ongoing attacks on these brave and committed providers. The need for abortion care has been a common experience across the generations and health care facilities such as Planned Parenthood have been there to ensure safe access. Yet those who provide abortion care are too often intimidated, badgered, stalked, and entrapped.AFY_StandWithPP2.jpg

I stand with Planned Parenthood and I ask you to do so as well.

Press Release: Give Teens What They Need to Make Healthy Decisions
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 10:21

Providing teens with information about and access to contraception before they need it is crucial to their health, we learn from the CDC’s new report Sexual Activity, Contraceptive Use, and Childbearing of Teenagers Aged 15–19 in the United States.

Sexual development is a normal and healthy part of growing up, and teens become more sexually active as they age. Forty-four percent of female and 47 percent of male teens had ever had sex, and by age 19 nearly 70 percent of teens have ever had sex. These numbers have been steady since 2002. They represent millions of teens who need education and skills to protect them from unwanted pregnancy, HIV, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

New birth control rules restore needed access
Friday, 10 July 2015 19:48

By putting forth new rules which provide for insurance to cover birth control even when the employer claim a religious objection, the Department of Health and Human Services reaffirmed that employers cannot be given a free pass to discriminate.  Access to health care and contraceptive coverage is particularly vital to young women taking personal responsibility for their sexual health.

Millennials are moving our country forward, not backward. We applaud the Obama Administration for not letting politics and ideology stand in the way of the health of young Americans.

Press Release: #4EACHofUS: Constant Attacks on Abortion End with EACH Woman Act
Thursday, 09 July 2015 09:55

We are proud to stand alongside Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) and 73 other Congressional co-sponsors as they introduced the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act. The bill would dismantle the attacks on abortion access made by Hyde and ensure health coverage for abortion for every woman however much she earns or however she is insured. The EACH Woman Act would provide coverage for all pregnancy-related care, including abortion care regardless of a woman’s income, source of insurance, or where she lives thereby ensuring that that each of us, not just some of us, have the opportunity to make personal decisions for our families and for ourselves.AFY_4EACGofUS

Celebrating today, continuing the work tomorrow
Friday, 26 June 2015 09:04

Advocates for Youth is thrilled about today’s decision finding same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional. It’s beyond time to stamp out all legislated bigotry. Recognizing marriage equality in every corner of this nation is a historic step for this country.

The swiftly growing cultural acceptance of LGBTQ rights has been propelled by Millennials, who are more likely than any other generation to support same-sex marriage. Young people refuse to sit idle as they, their friends, colleagues or family members are denied their inalienable rights. And even as we celebrate this victory, we know the fight is not over. LGBTQ young people around the nation need to feel safe in their schools, communities, and homes. They need protection from discrimination in housing and employment. They need sex education programs which truly include them and teach the skills they need to protect their health and lives.

The last few years have seen great leaps forward in understanding and acceptance of LGBTQ youth. Let’s keep the momentum going until all young people are treasured for who they are and empowered to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

Anti-abortion extremism in Paraguay
Thursday, 25 June 2015 13:13


Right now in Paraguay, we are seeing the dangers of extremist abortion laws play out in real time. An 11-year-old girl, allegedly sexually assaulted by her stepfather, is entering her third trimester of pregnancy. Paraguay’s government has denied her an abortion, even though she has requested one. Because of her small frame, carrying the pregnancy to term and delivering could put the girl at risk of terrible injury or even death. Her lawyer has reported that labor will be induced soon, and the pregnancy delivered prematurely, but the authorities in Paraguay are being very secretive about her status and whereabouts. The case has caused international outcry among women’s health and human rights advocates.

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a youth-driven communityworking for change
Apoyo para Jóvenes GLBTQ
for Spanish-speaking GLBTQ youth
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a grassroots movement to start a new conversation about abortion
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