Protesters march to support Planned Parenthood

Ashli Wagner
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One day after St. Louis passed an ordinance to protect women’s rights about 4,000 men and women protested in support of Planned Parenthood, according to St. Louis Public Radio.

“I feel like the voices of the people need to be heard,” sophomore Hope Johnson said.

The new ordinance will ban employers and landlords from discriminating against women who have had an abortion, use contraceptives or are pregnant.

Saturday, Feb. 11, people arrived at Chouteau Park in support of Planned Parenthood. Men and women marched together from Chouteau Park to Tower Grove Avenue, where several businesses in support of Planned Parenthood sold pink Planned Parenthood T-shirts, pins and other merchandise.

The march was about three miles going down Forest Park Avenue where marchers passed the Planned Parenthood clinic. When pro-choice protesters passed the clinic, pro-life protesters were marching outside the clinic. As the pro-choice protesters passed the clinic rather than yell their support, they walked in silence to prevent any altercations between pro-choice and pro-life protesters.

“It was really empowering when we walked past the anti-Planned Parenthood protesters holding their signs and were all walking by in silence. It was really powerful,” senior Annie Buck said.

At the march pro-choice protesters chanted things like “My body, my choice; her body, her choice” and  “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go.”

By contrast pro-life protesters started singing the national anthem as pro-choice protesters walked by. When pro-choice protesters marched past apartments on Forest Park Avenue people cheered out their windows and hung posters in support.

“Teen pregnancy has been at the lowest in 20 years because of birth control,” Planned Parenthood CEO of the St. Louis region Mary Kogut said at the pre-march rally.

“No matter what your beliefs are Planned Parenthood still helps different things like testing,” sophomore Zoey Castro said.

Planned Parenthood only has abortions on Saturdays, and according to the 2014-15 annual report by Planned Parenthood only three percent of the 2015-16 year services were abortions.

Services include birth control help, STD testing and medicine, pap smears, breast exams and other ways to help the community.

“I think planned Parenthood is a necessary organization for women’s health care and all health care,” senior Annie Buck said.

According to the 2014-2015 annual report, 635,342 breast exams and pap smears were performed. About 2.9 million birth control information and services were provided. About 4.2 million tests and treatment for sexually transmitted infections were provided; of those 171,882 STIs were diagnosed, enabling people to get treatment and to learn how to prevent the further spread of STIs.


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