In the middle of Red Square, a stand is covered in pink hats, wafers, refreshments and pink heart balloons. People were dressed from head to toe in pink, some with glitter on their faces, others with ribbons around their necks. All of this is to petition the threat to defund Planned Parenthood.
The Western chapter of Voices for Planned Parenthood (VOX) had been planning the event for a month as a part of a national action day where chapters across the nation would hold these pink events.
By noon, the volunteers had already run out of petitions for people to sign. Chloe Smith, a freshman and new volunteer with Planned Parenthood estimated that a couple hundred people signed the petitions.
“I think that everybody has something to gain from something like Planned Parenthood that’s really non-profit and is all there for people in terms of reproductive rights,” Smith said.
Seb Bostwick, a Western student who identifies by they/them pronouns, was at the Red Square Planned Parenthood stand showing their support by filling out a whiteboard that said, “#StandwithPP because they support Trans and non-binary healthcare.”
On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood defended itself before Congress during a hearing to debate defunding the $1.3 million the federal government gives the organization, the Seattle Times reports. Republicans in the House are drafting legislation to defund Planned Parenthood, using it as leverage to threaten another possible government shutdown if President Obama vetoes the bill.
Western junior Sage Appel is a volunteer for the Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood, and said she came out to inspire the community to come together to support this women’s resource.
“We don’t want our health care and women’s rights taken away,” she said.
Planned Parenthood provides numerous amounts of care, including pregnancy tests, HIV and other STI tests, cancer screenings and now hormone consultation and therapy for transgendered people, according to the Planned Parenthood website.