Planned Parenthood calls for youth's energy and voice

Friday, October, 4, 2013; 12:59 AM | 0 | | Print

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Planned Parenthood’s title often deters college students from thinking it’s a relevant organization to them — something that the organization is trying to fix.

With many misconceptions of what services the organization offers, there are new political actions that will surely affect its efforts to serve as a public health provider. Planned Parenthood is striving to engage the younger generation to take part in these new decisions.

Due to recent state regulations that require health clinics like Planned Parenthood to endure costly renovations, there are state-wide concerns of this leading to the termination of clinics that cannot support these costs.

To combat this, Planned Parenthood is seeking a waiver to cover the costs of the Blacksburg facility.

Olivia Babis, the Virginia Field Coordinator for Planned Parenthood Health Services, shows no hint of backing down.

“Planned Parenthood has been in Virginia since the 1960’s, we have no intentions of going anywhere, and we want to be around to continue our services for our patients, and we plan on complying with these laws,” Babis said.

Babis, however, is concerned that regulations focused on abortion are taking attention away from other services.

“The regulations were ideologically motivated and were designed to shut down abortion providers, which would affect the other services we provide,” she said. “All of the other services we provide are being put in jeopardy due to these ideological decisions."

Babis said she urges young people to be more informed and involved with these issues because the present generation seems to be complacent due to the comfort of certain rights being in place for them— rights that are now up in the air.

“Many of our voters were around when Roe v. Wade was decided,” Babis said. “But younger women take advantage that they didn’t have to go through those struggles, and it’s something they expect to be there for them.”

The organization’s local Blacksburg and Roanoke offices host events in an effort to inform the community not only of these political issues, but to raise awareness of Planned Parenthood’s mission and services.

Planned Parenthood offers a variety of health services within it’s education department and medical office that pertain to each person regardless of age or sex, because it targets preventative and reproductive health overall.

“We have an intersectional approach, no matter where you are in society, there’s health care no matter what,” said Alyssa Seidorf, a senior business management major and a Planned Parenthood civic engagement intern. “That’s what Planned Parenthood is, it’s access to health care no matter what your situation is.”

In an effort to inform the local community, Planned Parenthood is hosting an event this Sunday tailored to be an all-community encompassing event.

Pickin’ for Planned Parenthood is an outdoor event for all ages with live music from “Einstein’s Monkey” and “Blue Mule” along with food served by Bruno’s Gastro Truck. The event is Oct. 6 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the historic Smithfield Plantation.

Tickets for adults are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Students with a school I.D. and children cost $10.

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A version of this article appeared in the Oct 4 issue of the Collegiate Times.

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