In Solidarity With, and Because Of, Planned Parenthood

Photos by Carrie Alexandra

 If anyone could ever be called “triggered snowflakes,” it’s conservatives and Catholics when someone brings up Planned Parenthood. Somehow, the organization that provides affordable healthcare to millions of women is their idea of the devil, and must be destroyed at all costs. While Planned Parenthood has been under fire a lot in recent years, it’s not hard to imagine that the vitriol and misinformation from the opposition will increase dramatically under the new administration. Even if Trump (#notmypresident) had not been elected, Republicans still control the House and Senate, and have already harassed the organization whenever they could even before Republicans were the majority.

Many people have little hope for the future of Planned Parenthood in the current political climate; Tatiana Lima, a 21 year old singer/songwriter who sometimes donates portions of her proceeds to charity, and a very recent alum of Marymount Manhattan, voiced her concern by saying, “With how our government has been going lately, I do believe that this administration will be successful in hurting Planned Parenthood. This can result in women developing infections/diseases from unsanitary DIY abortions. Women who cannot afford STI/STD testing and treatment or a mammogram will live their lives without help.” Although she does not take advantage of the services that Planned Parenthood provides, because she is lucky enough to have access to more convenient alternatives through her insurance plan, Tatiana understands how vital it is to our society. Many women and men, millions in fact, have acted in similar support within the last month, and have done wonders to restore hope where it was previously hard to find.

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Just look at the success of the Women’s March. Although people marched for a large variety of issues facing women and humanity, there was a general consensus that could be seen through signage and chants that made it clear that access to healthcare and the ability to make whatever choices about our reproductive system we see fit are basic rights vital to women. For myself and many others, the Women’s March provided the ultimate feeling of togetherness, strength, and solidarity that we were all desperate for in the face of such backwards changes. As Tatiana also said, “Defunding Planned Parenthood at the federal level would…endanger the lives of thousands of women,” but we made it clear that if that were to happen, we will get together like we proved we can and fight back as hard as it takes.

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Another uplifting show of solidarity recently was an event held by the Magic Cobra Tattoo Society in Greenpoint. They hosted a fundraiser on February 8th, offering discounted $40 tattoos to benefit Planned Parenthood NYC Votes, which is a non-partisan group focused on ensuring that elected officials “represent the voters and the communities Planned Parenthood serves.” (ppnycaction.org/politicalcommittee) The event was planned by Party to Protect in less than two weeks and raised over $4,000, with lines down the block to get tattoos in support of sexual and reproductive rights. One of the most heartening things about the turnout was that the organizers barely had to elaborate on the motivations behind the event. Planned Parenthood holds value to so many people who are passionate enough about the women of the world to wait on a long line in the middle of winter to permanently ink their bodies in support. Some may think that getting a tattoo is unproductive and trivial, but I think that it sends a strong message that support for Planned Parenthood is incredibly strong, and much like these tattoos, not going away anytime soon. Women will always need healthcare, and women and men alike will always fight back against those who try to take it away. The next few years will most likely hold challenges we haven’t even considered yet, but I’m confident in the power of women and the power of ethical humanity to keep us strong and together when our rights are threatened.

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