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Planned Parenthood Celebrates 40th Anniversary Of Roe v. Wade With Opposition Protesting Outside

Shako Liu |
January 22, 2013 | 10:46 p.m. PST

Senior Staff Reporter

Planned Parenthood celebrates 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. (Photo by Shako Liu)
Planned Parenthood celebrates 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. (Photo by Shako Liu)
Planned Parenthood celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a Supreme Court case in 1973 that legalized abortion, in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday night.

Members of Planned Parenthood Young Professionals gathered in a “Cocktails for a Cause” fundraiser, while their opposition, a pro-life group, was protesting outside.

The theme of the event was “I am not in your shoes,” referring to the belief the landmark ruling held that women should have the right to make personal medical decisions without the interference of politicians. They believe that abortion is personal and private, and politicians are not in the women’s shoes to make her decision. Members of Planned Parenthood Young Professionals said that the fight to legalize abortion will enhance women’s access to healthcare in the future.

Olivia Reyes, 33, the organizer of the event, said they want women to make their own choices and have affordable healthcare. She said the labels of "pro-choice" and "pro-life" are becoming irrelevant.

“Women in our generation are trying to get away from labels of pro-choice and pro-life,” Reyes said, “Because it’s hard to say if you are one or the other. Most registered women voters feel that abortion should be legal.”

Serena Josel, Director of Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, said three percent of what they do nationwide is abortion related, while stressing the importance of gathering on this day to reflect on how far they have come. In the next 40 years, Josel said, the goal is to keep improving on women’s access to healthcare, including abortion.

“Here in California, we are fairly fortunate,” Josel said, “We have a supportive political environment. California is actually moving the conversation forward and being proactive in expanding women’s access to abortion and other reflective healthcare like birth control.”

Josel said Planned Parenthood Los Angeles introduced a bill, AB154, to California’s legislature, asking to expand women’s access to abortion in the early term of pregnancy by allowing advanced practice permission.

At the same time, a group of pro-life supporters protesting outside of the event said they are sad that Roe v. Wade has lasted this long. Lisa Gavit, 19, president of USC Students for Life, was one of the protesters. She said the anniversary is something to mourn.

Protesters outside the event.  (Shako Liu / Neon Tommy).
Protesters outside the event. (Shako Liu / Neon Tommy).

“Fifty-five million children have been killed by abortion since Roe v. Wade 40 years ago,” Gavit said, “We are here to…call the attention to the truth that abortion does kill a human being.”

Gavit recognized that women have rights too, but she said killing a baby is not a right they should have. Another protester Conor Bailey, 23, takes one step further and calls Planned Parenthood a group of murderers. He said there is nothing in the constitution that’s about abortion.  Instead, he said it would be better for states to decide their abortion laws.

“They always focus on the woman who is carry the child, not the child itself,” Bailey said, “I think what’s missing [about the pro-life movement] is a focus on the child in the womb.”


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