A Social Justice Summer

By Jenna Ring
This past summer I got the opportunity to work on a campaign for Planned Parenthood. Which is something I’m extremely passionate about. I have a strong interest in  Social justice specifically reproductive rights.  I was hired by Grassroots campaigns in Boston. Grassroots campaign is an organization that primarily works with college students and recent graduates. There were about fifteen of us on the campaign. The campaign was the PPFA campaign which is specializes in the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. For the most part we were canvassing for PPFA. If you aren’t familiar with what canvassing is, it’s the annoying often dreaded people on the street that pop out of nowhere and say ” Hey take a minute for Planned Parenthood?”. Though I was originally really hesitant to be a canvasser I ended up being really happy with it and my summer. Not only did I make great friends I always met extremely fascinating strangers that shared with me the most incredible and touching stories. For every lovely person I met there were of course very hostile pro-lifers that came my way. But I quickly learned how to brush those off.
Since I was working in the city of Boston people were fairly more open to the idea of supporting Planned Parenthood. With that being said I also had many more people stop and give me their time than I had originally intended would. The way the job worked was we got to go to a new part of the city and surrounding areas every day. Which was cool because being from that area it’s really neat and also a little concerning to realize how much has been around you and how much of it you’ve missed. 
  As you may know the media loves attacking Planned Parenthood especially this past summer. The Center for Medical Progress an extremist pro-life group released a series of fake and extremely edited videos stating that doctors working at Planned Parenthood were selling organs and fetal tissue. Though an investigation was further pursued nothing was found in Planned Parenthood’s practice to back up those fake accusations.  Unfortunately people will believe what they want to believe and that furthered the idea for right wing politicians to try to defund Planned Parenthood. Which me most recently know has unfortunately been successful. 
  This is an extremely critical time in history. Planned Parenthood was first started in Brooklyn, New York in 1916 and has been providing affordable reproductive health care for around one hundred years now. And with that only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s facilities are abortion related. Planned Parenthood provides care to woman, men and, does a lot of work with the trans community. Other services they provide are STI testing, birth control and cancer screenings. 
  To defund Planned Parenthood is essentially taking away basic and affordable health care needs. One of the scariest parts of this is that before Roe V. Wade though abortion was not legal people were still finding ways to do it. We absolutely cannot go back in time. And we must fight to get the reproductive rights we deserve. Medical decision should me made by a doctor and the patient. Not by politicians. Working with and for Planned Parenthood really gave me a better understanding of the health care system and how critical it is that we keep the funding of Planned Parenthood around because it is an organization that must be kept afloat. 
  Though I understand that everyone has their own beliefs for their own reasons. I do ask you to reconsider the circumstances that we face in America right now. Everyone should always have an option to do what they please with their own bodies. And to deny access to that is denying a person their freedom. 

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