Planned Parenthood Rally Comes to UCFBeyond UCF, Business, Culture, Economy, News — By admin on August 29, 2012 at 4:18 pm Tweet
By: Melissa Colon
Planned Parenthood rolled onto the University of Central Florida campus on the Big Pink Bus on Tuesday, Aug 26 as part of the “Women Are Watching” rally. The rally was held in the Live Oak Room, where students and voters learned about standing up for reproductive rights.
“Women of Florida, and this country are counting on us, we really can’t let them down, we can make the difference in this election day,” said Anna Eskamani, 22, UCF graduate, President of the Democratic women’s club of Greater Orlando, and associate member of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood.
Guest speakers focused on the importance of getting women and men voters involved with protecting the services of Planned Parenthood such as STI/STD testing and treatment, contraception, cancer screening and prevention.
According to Planned Parenthood, in 2010 they provided 11 million medical services for nearly 3 million people, and helped prevent approximately 584,000 unintended pregnancies. Seventy-six percent of the clients have incomes at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. Dr. Lucille B. Belnick , MD Physician Orlando area, internal medicine, also expressed her concern for Planned Parenthood in the upcoming election. “Maybe their biggest responsibility is just protecting the safety net, keeping people from suffering too much when times are hard,” said Belnick in regard to the country’s economical state.
Jenna Tosh, board member of the Alliance of Planned Parenthood, asked the audience if they would want Rick Scott, or any other politician in the exam room with them. Tosh was referring to Amendment 6, also known as the Florida Abortion Amendment, which allows for “politicians to interfere with a woman’s personal medical decision”.
“We need a representative government filled with champions, leaders, that know that our country is better, healthier, and more equitable when women have access to affordable healthcare, and when women can make decisions about our own bodies,” said Tosh.
Ariadna Gonzalez, 19, UCF undergraduate student, did not know the rally was going on until she walked by the Live Oak Room right before it started. Now Gonzalez plans on getting more involved with the movement. “Just because a candidate doesn’t share all of your views, there’s some views you have to take a stance on, like Planned Parenthood,” said Gonzalez.
The Women Are Watching Bus Tour visited 11 states in 17 days, Florida was the last stop in which they will continue on to visit Tampa, Wednesday, Aug. 29 and West Palm Beach, Thursday, Aug. 30.