Monday, April 3, 2017

OUC student working to combat misinformation about Planned Parenthood through activism event


In continuation of the Women’s and Gender Studies – Activism class at Ohio University Chillicothe, Sarah Peters chose to turn her project, titled “The Other 97%” into an informative event focused on challenging falsehoods about Planned Parenthood.

Peters, a junior at OUC studying political science and women’s and gender studies, decided to correct the facts about common misconceptions surrounding the mission and services offered by Planned Parenthood.

“There’s a lot of misinformation going around that Planned Parenthood is an abortion clinic, when in reality only about three percent [of what they do] is abortion services,” she said. “The event is pretty much designed to highlight all the other services that get put onto the backboard because of the beliefs that get put out against them.”
 
She continued explaining that, “millions of people use their services for things such as STD screenings and treatments and pregnancy services. That’s why it’s important to keep this kind of thing around. It’s important that people know the actual facts as opposed to what’s being spread.”

Peters had worked as a volunteer at a clinic in Circleville, Ohio whose focus was to help deter anti-Planned Parenthood demonstrators from harassing those seeking medical care services at the clinic, which did not offer abortion services.

She described her passion behind this work as a reason for choosing to present and inform her fellow students on the topic.

“Most of the people that use Planned Parenthood are within the age range here at school -around 20 years-old - and because most people who use their services aren’t insured or are about to fall off their parent’s insurance, they’re not quite prepared,” she said. “Even if it’s not sex related, you can go and get your cholesterol or blood pressure checked – basic things – done there. These services are there to basically give people cost-effective health insurance.”   

Through her research, Peters was able to present information about additional assistance offered at Planned Parenthood that people may have been unaware of including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) support, assistance to those individuals who fall below the federal poverty guidelines, men’s health screenings and more.

Numerous displayed were erected outlining facts, figures, statistics and additional information on the varying services offered at Planned Parenthood. Students could come and go, gather information, or discuss questions with Peters or other advocates during the event.

Ultimately, she said, her goal was “helping to protect against getting rid of healthcare for some of America’s most vulnerable citizens.”



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