Despite the fact that an estimated 2.5 million women regularly visit Planned Parenthood clinics a year to receive STI testing, cancer screenings, contraception distribution and other women’s health services, the organization is in significant danger of not being able to continue its practices. Laws have already been passed in 14 states defunding or restricting access to PP, and this trend is expected to continue until it reaches the federal government. The time to take action is now! So here are a few ways to start:
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to protests in NYC
Attend these upcoming events benefiting Planned Parenthood.
SATURDAY FEB 2
Join the Stand with Planned Parenthood rally in Washington Square Park. Speakers include Vagina Monologues Eve Ensler and public advocate Letitia James.
WEDNESDAY FEB 14
The Bell House is hosting a Dirty Dancing for Planned Parenthood screening, singalong and talkback, presented by Lady Parts Justice League. Following the movie, there will be an Q&A/discussion, as well as stations for writing postcards of love to Planned Parenthood, calling Congresspeople, day-old Valentine's Day candy and prizes.
SATURDAY MARCH 4
Precious Metal in Brooklyn is throwing a benefit for Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. Admission is a suggested $20 donation, and includes a custom sketch by fashion Illustrator Jennifer Lilya. Raffle tickets may also be purchased, with prizes including tickets to Avenue Q and lots of takeaways.
TUESDAY MARCH 28
N.O.W is hosting “State of the Uterus: Reproductive Rights policy & Activism in the Trump era”. Join a panel of speakers from Planned Parenthood and other activist women’s health organizations to see where we are and what we can do continue making waves.
If you can’t make it out for these, don’t worry. Here are some more ways you can continue the fight.
1. Sign the petition that states “I stand with Planned Parenthood”. The site has clear and useful information about the direct impact of defunding Planned Parenthood, as well as a simple button enabling you to call your Senator.
2. Become a defender. A defender is a core group of PP supporters. Becoming one requires no cost or contribution, but establishes you within a group of people that PP will reach out to via text message with tasks and initiatives.
3. Follow sister organizations. There are lots of projects that fund research for, and lobby legislation that legitimizes the work Planned Parenthood does, and are thus crucial to its survival. Guttmacher Institute is a think tank partnering with Planned Parenthood that frequently sends out new findings on reproductive health and justice. National Institute for Reproductive Health is another NYC-based nonprofit that works on state and local levels to change public policy regarding reproductive justice.
4. Stay informed. Understand who your representatives are using whoaremyrepresentatives.org, and find out their position on funding PP. Countable is an smartphone app that makes it easy to find out which bills are being passed, so you can pester your representatives during crunch time.
5. Donate on a monthly basis, or you can give a gift in tribute or someone’s honor. This can be a family member, public figure, anyone to commemorate who fought for women’s causes. Wednesday Feb 15, for example, is Susan B Anthony’s birthday, so think about making a contribution on that day to celebrate how far we’ve come.
6. Corporate Matching. Many employers will match your gifts of charitable donations. Contact your Human Resources Department to request a corporate matching gift application form.
7. Buy some jewelry for a good cause. Or gift it! As Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Chinatown based designer Susan Alexandra is selling handmade, hand-painted jewelry with a portion of proceeds going towards PP.
8. Throw your own fundraiser! Be creative. In NYC in the past few months, there have been music-based fundraisers, tattoo-based fundraisers, comedy-based fundraisers, and food-based fundraisers with proceeds directly benefiting Planned Parenthood. Think of a skill you and your friends can offer, then find a space and make it happen.
9. Start a “support reproductive justice” club instead of a book club (especially if you only pretended to read the books anyway). Meet, discuss, create action plans and celebrate successes.
10. Run for office No, really. Think about it.