Hundreds Organize to Defend Planned Parenthood

“My body, my choice! My body, my choice!” chanted the group of men and women supporting Planned Parenthood on Feb. 11, 2017. People gathered outside of the Planned Parenthood on Stadium Boulevard on the cold gray morning. The protest was organized against pro-life groups, who were also protesting at the same time.

According to MLive, there were 300 people gathered to counter a much smaller protest. The men and women who stood with Planned Parenthood were there to fight for women’s rights.

Ernest Kalina, a man who chose to speak at the open mic during the protest later said, “I stand with Planned Parenthood for my daughters, and the women of their generation. I stand there because Planned Parenthood is part of the attack that the Trump administration is targeting and it’s fighting but we are not going to stay complacent in our homes, we are going to organize with others and that’s exactly what’s happening across the country and we resist.”

“We stand with Planned Parenthood because we are not going to go back to the days of back alley abortions and coat hanger atrocities,” said Jessica Prozinski, an organizer for the protest. “It’s unacceptable that there is a movement to defund Planned Parenthood and we are not having it.”

At the end of the line, Jim Wolfington offered coffee to protesters. “You got to stand with it. It’s unbelievable what’s going on in this country today and the women need to have every kind of rights and it’s not just that it’s healthcare for everybody, for women, Planned Parenthood helps with women’s health, what could be more important than that?” Wolfington said.

“I have always been very pro-choice, so I feel like it’s really important that women have access to services like Planned Parenthood,” said Clare Frances. “They offer so much general health care services and I think that’s so important, people often forget it’s not just about abortion but it’s about things like cancer screenings, access to contraception, and just general health care and that’s just invaluable especially to women who can’t afford it somewhere else,” Frances said, a young women protesting with her good friend Taylor Schauel.

“My mom is a endometrial cancer survivor, she’s a uterine cancer survivor, and from a young age I was always around a strong mother who was very passionate about reproductive rights,” Schauel said. “Something she taught me was it’s your body, you make your own choices, don’t ever let a man tell you what to do, don’t let anyone tell you what to do with your body. So for me I think Planned Parenthood is something that people have this idea that it’s just abortions but it’s not, it’s so much more and coming out here it’s just showing that there are so many people that feel that passion for Planned Parenthood and support it.”

Ginny Waller, a women working at the protest and someone who works for Planned Parenthood, gave her statement on why she stood with Planned Parenthood. “Well actually, I work for Planned Parenthood and I choose to work for them because I really do believe they provide a necessary service for women,” Waller said. ”No federal dollars go towards funding abortion, we get reimbursed by medicaid for popriating services such as STI testing, we provide cancer screenings, we provide birth control, we provide pregnancy testing and I think those are really wonderful things. And so when they say to defund Planned Parenthood they’re not talking about defunding pp, theyre talking about defunding women who need access to healthcare.”