One hundred days are down since Donald Trump took office, and so is the new administration’s support of Planned Parenthood. Yet it comes as no surprise women’s healthcare is at risk since a self-described pussy-grabber and Bill O’Reilly supporter is now Commander-in-Chief.
The vice president is no women’s rights champion either as he believes, “If Planned Parenthood wants to be involved in providing counseling services and HIV testing, they ought not be in the business of providing abortions.” That’s what Mike Pence told Politico in 2011, adding, “As long as they aspire to do that, I’ll be after them.”
This type of government for punishment is troublesome since it fails to support the beliefs of the majority of citizens whom elected officials are supposed to represent: American men—and women—as well as future generations who are too young to vote.
Enter high school student Natasha Lerner. Like the estimated 3 million people who participated in this year’s Women’s Marches across the country, she was moved to action by the results of the 2016 presidential election. In addition to working as an intern at Planned Parenthood, she sought to support the organization through more than the usual, yet admirable and effective, protests and petitions.
Lerner persuaded Chicago’s historic Metro venue to partner with the healthcare organization for “Voices For Choices: A Benefit Concert for Planned Parenthood.” The psychedelic indie pop duo Wild Belle headlines the May 12 fundraiser, which also includes performances by The Burns Twins X Kaina, Kopano, Yadda Yadda, and local slam poets.
“I think it’s important for teenagers to get involved because even though we can’t donate huge sums of money, we’re a really important part of the community, and we have loud, influential voices,” explains Lerner. “My overall goal is to get other teenagers to do what we’re doing: mobilizing for something they care about.”
What they, and millions more, care about are the current administration’s efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.
On April 13, Trump signed a law designed to pull funds from Planned Parenthood and similar organizations even though federal money doesn’t pay for abortions. Instead, it is used to cover cancer screenings, provide services for sexually transmitted diseases, and offer birth control—all of which help lift the burden on the country’s healthcare system.
Thankfully, while 100 days are down since Trump took office, awareness and activism are up. Millions of Americans are exercising their rights by supporting a free press, donating to endangered organizations, signing petitions, participating in peaceful protests, and enjoying concerts that benefit their causes.
“Voices For Choices” is $40 for general admission, with a $20 discount for students. VIP seats are also available for $200 per table of two. Doors for the 7 p.m., all ages event, open at 6 p.m. at Metro, 3730 N. Clark Street. For tickets, visit http://metrochicago.com/voices-for-choices-05-12-17/; for additional information, visit www.metrochicago.com.