The Maroon

Activists rally for Planned Parenthood

Taylor Ford

Planned+Parenthood+supporters+chant+for+pro-choice+rights.+Nearly+200+people+gathered+in+front+of+City+Hall+to+defend+the+organization+in+response+to+President+Trump%27s+order+to+defund+it.+Feb.+10%2C+2017.+Photo+credit%3A+Haley+Pegg
Planned Parenthood supporters chant for pro-choice rights. Nearly 200 people gathered in front of City Hall to defend the organization in response to President Trump's order to defund it. Feb. 10, 2017. Photo credit: Haley Pegg

Planned Parenthood supporters chant for pro-choice rights. Nearly 200 people gathered in front of City Hall to defend the organization in response to President Trump's order to defund it. Feb. 10, 2017. Photo credit: Haley Pegg

Planned Parenthood supporters chant for pro-choice rights. Nearly 200 people gathered in front of City Hall to defend the organization in response to President Trump's order to defund it. Feb. 10, 2017. Photo credit: Haley Pegg

Haley Pegg

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Planned Parenthood supporters took part in a rally to spread their message to the government: “Defend, don’t defund.”

On Friday, Feb. 10, nearly 200 people gathered at Duncan Plaza in front of City Hall. Event organizers took the mic to show their support for Planned Parenthood, in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order to defund the organization. Men and women of all ages spent the afternoon holding up signs, cheering on speakers, and chanting, “Defend, don’t defund.”

Ashley Robins, New Orleans resident, helped organize the event. She said the rally itself is just one piece of a bigger message she would like to send.

“I want to incite activism in New Orleanians, whether it be for Planned Parenthood or whatever it is they’re passionate about,” Robin said.

Robins said the rally was planned in response to an anti-abortion rally that was set to take place in front of the Planned Parenthood clinic the following day. The support rally organizers came up with the idea because they wanted to host a counter rally to oppose the anti-abortion group.

Initially, event organizers anticipated a much bigger turnout – over 3,000 people RSVP’d to the event on Facebook. Robins noted the significant difference in what was expected and the amount of people who actually attended could be due to a scheduling issue. The event was originally to take place on Saturday afternoon when people were off work. However, organizers made a last minute change and decided to have it on Friday afternoon instead.

Hasmig Vartanian has been a member of Planned Parenthood for years. She attended the rally to show her belief that Planned Parenthood is a necessary part of women’s rights.

“It has to do with choice, which has to do with freedom, which has to do with healthcare for women,” Vartanian said.

Amy Krueger is pro-abortion rights, and said she attended the rally for the purpose of educating others about the purpose of Planned Parenthood.

“I hope the rally brings more attention to the fact that Planned Parenthood is about more than just abortions,” Krueger said. “They provide cancer screening and they provide contraception to people.”

Planned Parenthood supporters were not the only attendees at the rally, however. Lydia Rose was one of a handful of anti-abortion activists who came to speak up for the opposing side.

As a nurse, Rose said her stance on the issue comes from the belief that life begins at conception.

“If a heartbeat is what determines death, it should also be what determines life,” Rose said.

As the rally  went on, opposingcrowds became more angered. A group of pro-abortion rights activists interrupted anti-abortion activists by chanting repeatedly, “My body, my choice!”

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About the Contributors
Haley Pegg, Senior Staff Writer

Haley Pegg is finishing up her final few credits at Loyola as a part-time journalism and marketing senior. Spring 2017 will be her second semester serving as senior staff writer for the Maroon, and her third year as a writer for the paper. She is originally from Washington, D.C., but plans to remain in New Orleans after graduation in May. She works in promotions and marketing outside of school, and hopes to obtain a career in the field post-undergrad. She is excited to be returning to the Maroon and looks forward to getting to know the new writers!

Contact: [email protected] or @haleypegg

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Taylor Ford, Executive Producer of The Maroon Minute

Taylor is a mass communication senior with a focus in journalism. Prior to becoming Executive Producer of the Maroon Minute, he worked as a Staff Writer and Assistant Sports Editor. Outside of the SMC building you can catch him reading in Monroe library or in the midst of a heated sports debate in the Danna Center.

Contact: [email protected] or @TaylorCFord

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1 Comment

One Response to “Activists rally for Planned Parenthood”

  1. Jeriah Knox on February 13th, 2017 11:41 pm

    Men will keep abortion around as long as they want their women cheap, accessible, and exchangeable. Even Isis sex slave owners make use of abortion services to keep their women usable and to maintain resale values. Our current system allows the man involved to pretend he bears no responsibility, need make no commitments, and hardly even has to be considerate. The right to choose took way more from women than it ever gave.

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