Apathy Is Not an Option

I was raised in a very conservative family- sex was not discussed openly, but you certainly did not want a reputation as a “loose girl.”  How that could happen was up to me to figure out, but it had something to do with boys.  When I got to college, it was the late sixties, and love, free sex and birth control pills were everywhere! How could I deal with these new freedoms?  I was excited by the ideas, but scared of the consequences if I made the wrong choices.  In the back of my mind, I was consoled by the thought of Planned Parenthood – somewhere I could go if there were questions or issues that I could never discuss at home.

I married and raised two daughters in a home where I hoped we could discuss most anything.  I always tried to convey these thoughts:  ask me, I love you, trust me, I will not lie, and if I don’t know the answer, we will find out.  Of course, mothers and daughters cannot always discuss everything without some embarrassment or judgement, so when they were away at university, I told them, “go to Planned Parenthood – they will always be there for you.”  Continue reading

Roe v. Wade: Here to Stay, or Fading Away?

pink-drinkYou’re invited to join Planned Parenthood’s Community Action Team and Feminists for Choice for a casual happy hour event this Friday, January 21st at 6:00 PM as we celebrate the 38th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.

Meet other pro-choice advocates from the Tucson area and find out how you can stand up for choice in 2011. We’ll provide information about the different volunteer opportunities with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, including our upcoming Women’s Health Lobby Day. We’ll also have a raffle and other fun activities.

There is no cover charge to attend the event, but guests should plan on buying their own food and drinks. For more info, please send us an e-mail. To RSVP, please visit our Facebook page.

Marianne Is Here Because Sex Ed Matters

Volunteering at the PPAZ office

I believe in Planned Parenthood. I believe in reproductive freedom, the right to choose, medically accurate sexuality education for all people, access to all reproductive medical care options and, especially, freedom from harassment for women who make that choice.

I am here for Planned Parenthood because I remember my high school years. I grew up in Santa Monica, California and I was educated in the Catholic school system. The best part was this was the early to mid-’70s. There was still kind of a ‘hangover’ from the late ’60s to early ’70s with ‘free love’, ‘summer of love’ and Woodstock. The ‘hangover’ was evident in our high school. The school administration was unabashedly liberal. They actually believed that ‘sex ed’ should be more than just some put-upon phys ed instructor, usually the football coach, trying to maintain order amongst a group of giggling teenagers and passing on some hard-won information about reproduction, sexual intercourse, birth and STDs.

The administration set up a balance of courses that the students passed through at each grade level. Freshman usually started with just the regular catechism courses. These taught the church’s position with regard to birth control and the role of sexual intercourse inside and outside marriage. This was required; after all, we were a Catholic high school. Continue reading

Serena Is Here Because She Cares

Volunteering at Tucson Pride

Volunteering at Tucson Pride

Several years ago I attended a speech by actress Kathleen Turner, who was a national spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Federation of America at the time.  Turner told the college audience about how she had relied on Planned Parenthood’s health care services when she was a student, and she encouraged all of us to take advantage of the services offered there, too.  But, she told us, when we were in a position to give back to Planned Parenthood, we had an obligation to do so.

I volunteer at Planned Parenthood to fulfill that obligation. For more than ten years, I have depended on Planned Parenthood to provide affordable health care. When I haven’t been able to afford a Pap smear, I have been able to count on Planned Parenthood to help me out. When I needed information about pro-choice ballot issues or electoral candidates, I turned to Planned Parenthood to give me reliable information. No matter what, I know that I can count on Planned Parenthood to be there for me. Which is why I have made up my mind to be there for them. Continue reading

Stacey Is Here Because She Trusts Women

Looking back, I don’t think I ever made a formal, conscious decision to be pro-choice. For me, there’s never been any hand-wringing or laborious thinking about the issue of choice. I have always, always felt that the choice whether to, or when to, become a mother was the basic, fundamental right of every woman alive.

I never really envisioned myself as an “activist” either, but for me the urge to volunteer and advocate for Planned Parenthood came on strong and suddenly.

I was surfing the net one afternoon and came across this video:

I’d honestly never seen anything like it. As a former patient at a Planned Parenthood center in the Midwest, I couldn’t recall ever seeing protesters on my routine preventive care visits. Not even one.

Watching the video, I couldn’t fathom what possessed these people to stand outside of a center, where women seek out private medical care, screaming hateful, often deceptive messages.

I thought they were sick, mean, and crazy to even conceive of doing such a thing.

I hadn’t been a patient at Planned Parenthood since college, but I could only imagine how utterly horrible it would have been to have hateful propaganda screamed at me by strangers while heading into a contraception visit or annual Pap smear. Continue reading

Join Planned Parenthood’s Community Action Team

PPAZ volunteers raising awareness

PPAZ volunteers raising awareness

Are you tired of all the anti-choice legislation that has been passed in the Arizona legislature? Then do something about it! Planned Parenthood’s Community Action Team is in need of pro-choice advocates to help defend reproductive rights in Arizona. We’ve got two volunteer orientation dates coming up in the next few weeks.

When: Tuesday, August 31, 6:00-8:00pm
Where: PHOENIX: Planned Parenthood Admin Office

When: Tuesday, September 7, 6:00-8:00pm
Where: TUCSON: Planned Parenthood Admin Office

To attend either of these new volunteer orientations, please contact Emily, Planned Parenthood Arizona’s Advocacy Coordinator, at advocate@ppaz.org.

Volunteering for Planned Parenthood Arizona is a great opportunity to raise your pro-choice voice, and meet a few fabulous friends along the way.  I started volunteering for PPAZ in 2009, first as a clinic escort in Phoenix, and then as a member of the Community Action Team in Tucson.  Blogging is just one way I am using my pro-choice voice.  I also do regular data entry shifts and help with phone banking, where we call Planned Parenthood supporters to educate them about pro-choice issues.  I would volunteer for PPAZ even if Emily, our volunteer supervisor, didn’t feed us or play rockin’ dance tunes during our shifts, but it certainly helps. Continue reading