Supporters of the Planned Parenthood of Colorado Springs are planning a rally this Saturday, Jan. 23 at the northeast corner of Garden of the Gods Rd and Centennial Blvd to recognize the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision in January 1973 and to support women’s reproductive health rights.
Maria Mendez, Colorado Colleges’s current Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, commented on the importance of the rally.
“Anything that we can do to help promote a safe environment is extremely helpful,” said Mendez. “People in the community create and reinforce culture and the associated norms. We need people on board with creating and reinforcing a healthy, safe sex culture and so it is important to support the efforts that work to create this ideal environment.”
She continues: “The World Health Organization describes reproductive health as being able to have a responsible, satisfying and safe sex life, and being able to choose if, when, and how to reproduce.”
The rally has garnered special attention due to the recent attack, where on Nov. 27, a gunman opened fire at the Planned Parenthood health center in Colorado Springs, killing three. The attack was motivated by opposition to Planned Parenthood and access to abortion.
On the Planned Parenthood for the Rocky Mountains website, they write: “To those who go to unimaginable extremes to close our doors: We deplore your violence. We reject your threats. We fight your legislation to limit reproductive rights and health care in every corner of our country.” It continues: “We believe your actions and words hurt women — whether by making it impossible to seek health care or by creating a climate of disrespect and hostility that fosters extremist violence.”
Some CC students agree.
“Rallies like this are important because half of the population is being denied basic health rights, mainly based on rumor and misinformation,” said Jason Bair.
“Women shoud have as many rights as guns do,” said Kai Hill. “Women’s bodies are theirs to do what they want with and it is not a random politician’s choice.”
“Reproductive health issues are a human right,” said Steven Ortega. “The freedom that having reproductive health care provides for women is the fundamental ability to control their own bodies. In the United States, these rights have been under constant assault ever since Roe v Wade. It is up to us to defend these rights.”
“Upwards of seven million people use Planned Parenthood’s services,” said Maya Patel. “Thanks to Planned Parenthood, teen pregnancy rates are the lowest they’ve been in 20 years. It is crucial they can continue to provide this essential care to all Americans.”
This recent attack has only reaffirmed some CC students’ commitment to standing alongside Planned Parenthood.
Anna Regan says, “I think it is important to attend the rally because PP is a resource for everyone in the area. It is much bigger than the politics of abortion. We need to stand with them, especially after such a devastating attack.”
The rally reaffirms Planned Parenthood of Rocky Mountains commitment to the men, women, and children in the region.
“We aren’t going anywhere. Planned Parenthood has been here for ne,” explained the ralliers. “Planned Parenthood has been here for nearly 100 years, and we will keep being here as long as women, men, and young people need health care with dignity. To those who go to shocking extremes to close our doors, know this: These doors stay open.”
Mendez says, “CC students spend a large portion of their time here on campus, for work and for play. As such, it is important to be able to build a healthy culture around safe sex… Safety in sex is more than just protecting ourselves from physical-health related issues – it is also important to think about emotional and psychological well-being. We need to have all of these components in order to have awesome, safe sex.”