If you spare some time on Wednesday, this important action at the Station Square offices of U.S. Senator Pet Toomey to resist his efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. The actions includes
- A read-in from the classic women’s health book ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’
- On-site collection of tampons and pads which will be distributed to local organizations working with those who need these products
- A unique message writing effort to make sure Senator Toomey hears from you
Last week, Senator Toomey and his Republican colleagues took steps toward repealing the Affordable Care Act and taking away healthcare from millions of people–including the more than 55 million women who receive access to no-copay preventive care like birth control. The resolution offers no plan for replacing the lost coverage.
Last week, one of the hundreds of women who called the Senator’s office to voice disapproval for committing to repeal the Affordable Care Act and defund Planned Parenthood used the word “menstruation” during her call. She was promptly reprimanded by Toomey’s staff for her “graphic” language.
“If Senator Toomey is comfortable legislating American women’s reproductive organs, then he and his staff should also be comfortable talking about them to constituents who own them,” said Erin Kramer, Director of One Pennsylvania, a statewide community organization supporting the event. She continued: “When the Senator votes to defund health education limiting the clinical spaces for women to access accurate information about their bodies then we have no choice but to use his office, which we the taxpayers pay for, as an appropriate location for those services.”
As a response, Kramer and several others have organized a donation drive and group read-in of the classic book Our Bodies, Ourselves in front of Senator Toomey’s Station Square office. They will be accepting donations of menstruation supplies to help women and girls who cannot afford to purchase supplies. They will also take turns reading the book to remind the Senator that women–not politicians–deserve full ownership of their bodies and their health.
According to Sue Kerr, local blogger and fellow host of the event: “If our legislators are going to shut down the spaces in which we advocate for and take care of our health and sexuality, then we’ll do this important work in their space instead.”
Repealing the ACA would mean that more than 55 million women would lose their right to access no-copay preventive services such as birth control and life-saving cancer screenings. Defunding Planned Parenthood would cut off health care for millions of low-income women, men, and young people who access quality preventive and basic care at hundreds of health centers across the country.
What: Donation drive, read-in and protest
Who: Planned Parenthood of Western PA, One Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents, local patients and supporters
When: Wednesday, January 18, 2017, 8am – 11am
Where: Outside of the Landmarks Building, 125 West Station Square Drive • Pittsburgh, PA, 15219
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