Pro-life vs. pro-choice

Pro-life vs. pro-choice

Winter Keefer

The Third Street sidewalk quickly filled with students, professors and Marquette community members rallying for government support of Planned Parenthood Saturday morning. As the crowd grew to over 120 participants, ralliers had to cross the street to leave room for people to maneuver.

The sidewalk rang with the sound of blaring horns in response to signs that said “Honk for Women’s rights,” mixing with chants from ralliers of “Planned Parenthood is here to stay, you won’t take our rights away” and “This is what democracy looks like.”

Rally organizer and local resident Anne Stark said Planned Parenthood services are vital to the community due to affordability and accessibility that allows all women to have health care. After hearing about the nation-wide rally, Stark said she was inspired to create an official event on multiple social media platforms.

“I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of caring and love in this community for something that I hold so dear and I am really thankful that people have stepped up on a cold morning to demonstrate,” she said. Planned Parenthood has been under attack for years, Stark added.

“This is nothing new. I think people have a refreshed sense of energy and enthusiasm, and I think that the presidential election was a wake-up call for progressives to become more active and vocal. I hope that we can sustain this energy for the long run,” Stark said.

Senior psychology/behavior analysis major Autumn Palmer is co-president of Women for Women, a campus group that seeks to promote education on women’s health, sexuality and civil rights.
“I’m here because I think that women deserve to have the choice to do what they want with their own bodies,” Palmer said.

Earlier Saturday morning, a group of 11 gathered in opposition of Planned Parenthood in front of the neighboring Care Clinic.

Marquette resident Sarah Schober was one of the community members standing in opposition. She said she was not there to be anti-women, but rather anti-Planned Parenthood.

“I consider myself a feminist, I do. Because I believe—right down to the core—I believe that baby, if that baby is a woman, I’m there for her. So I consider myself a true feminist. If you’re dependent on someone else to take care of you, that does not mean that your life is less valuable—and babies, no one is more helpless than a little baby,” Schober said.

Planned Parenthood in Marquette provides women’s health care, STD testing, birth control, emergency contraception and men’s healthcare but it does not provide abortion services, though many locations across the country do. Peaceful rallies similar to ones in Marquette were held nationwide.

Head of Communications and Performance Studies at NMU Jim Cantrill stood with the crowd in support of Planned Parenthood. It is a citizen’s right to support or argue against Planned Parenthood, he said.  “The turn out that we had in comparison to the turn out that the anti-choice forces had I think is indicative to the demographics in this country. This country we need to take back—men and women—because we support women’s rights. We support the right of choice.”