By Kimberly T. Rodriguez
An unchartered NMSU student organization known as the Student Alliance for Reproductive Justice will be hosting a rally in support of Planned Parenthood on September 29 at one p.m. in front of Corbett Center.
Planned Parenthood is a non-profit healthcare provider offering such services as pregnancy tests, education to help reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and provide screenings for cervical and other cancers.
The organization has been under fire recently after videos surfaced over the summer, videos in which representatives of the organization talk about selling aborted fetal tissue for profit. An investigation by House Democrats took place and recently found “no evidence” of wrongdoing on the organization’s part.
“We maintained the entire time, first of all, the accusations that were made against the organization were false,” says Marshall Martinez, field organizer for Planned Parenthood in Albuquerque. “The videos that were produced were highly edited, the videos were taken without the consent of the people that were in the videos. It was a deceitful attack on not just on Planned Parenthood as an organization, but really on the access to reproductive healthcare.”
House Republicans, however, remain convinced of wrongdoing, and are threatening to shut down the federal government in November if the federal budget includes any funding for Planned Parenthood, which receives approximately $500 million a year under Title X, funding for family planning services.
The rally on the 29th is a nationwide event to demonstrate the general public supports Planned Parenthood.
The organizers encourage participants to wear pink on the day of the rally.
Local leader of SARJ and NMSU student Sydney Frederickson also encourages students from the NMSU community to join their organization to discuss and support reproductive health rights.
“We are sponsored and we support Planned Parenthood, but I also want (SARJ) to be a place for students to get educated about sex and to be a place to be open to talk about it,” she says. “A place to educate about having options and supporting them. I don’t think a lot of students know about the inequality and the injustices toward women. This isn’t about just women, it’s about men and women getting the resources they need.”
The next Student Alliance for Reproductive Justice meeting will be held this Thursday, October 1, at seven p.m. on the second floor of Corbett Center.
For more information on Planned Parenthood, visit: http://www.plannedparenthood.org
Check in later for The Round Up’s post-rally coverage!