WRITTEN BY: TAYLOR ALLEN
A panel of Planned Parenthood representatives came to Temple to explain to college students the importance of voting in the upcoming election.
Most notably, Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, came to emphasize the importance of women’s reproductive rights.
“Young people are the biggest voting block so this [election] is on you,” Richards said to an audience of Temple students.
Before the event began, there was an anti-abortion van outside the Student Recreation Center, with two people protesting the event.
Richards and other representatives of the organization are accustomed to this hostile treatment in relation to women and their right to basic health care.
“We have so much work to do for our culture,” Richards said. “We are a movement. It’s no good to have a right if you cannot exercise it.”
Planned Parenthood celebrated its 100th anniversary this past Sunday.
What made this event particularly unique was the diverse panel. Joining Richards on the panel was a black gender-nonconforming pastor, a transgender rights activist and a University of Pennsylvania gynecologist.
While these panelists were different in most ways, they were united under their goals to further women’s reproductive rights and to ignite social change.
Pamela Williams, the gender-nonconforming pastor, was particularly unique, since it is considered rare for a person of strong faith to be in favor of Planned Parenthood.
“[Women] deserve their rights because the Bible says we are meant to be free,” Williams said.
In addition to educating the public about women’s reproductive rights, the event also sought to endorse Hillary Clinton and denounce Donald Trump.