Planned Parenthood: Interning During a Crisis

Hey there readers, Rosehasathorn here. I just wanted to say that if you know me personally, stop reading! Trust me you have heard me talk about this. In fact it is really all I talk about. This past summer I had the incredible opportunity to intern for Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) in their Washington D.C office. My specific position was a member of a team who focused on bringing quality affordable healthcare to the southern region of the United States. My team consisted of some of the best people I have ever met with some of the most incredible stories I have ever heard, and their main goal was to help women get the quality affordable healthcare they needed. My supervisor in particular was a one of a kind individual who taught me more than I could have ever imagined learning in 10 weeks time.

Photo by Shannon Garner
Photo by Shannon Garner

Some of the things that I was able to participate in included DC Pride parade and festival. With PPFA, we marched to the theme of “Let’s Get Physical” and tabled for safe sex practices! We were also apart of the Senate vote which attempted to defund Planned Parenthood. This gave me the opportunity to meet most of the candidates for the 2016 election, speak with both senators from Virginia and New Jersey (my home state) and help convince them to vote against the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Which we won!

This summer taught me so much about myself and who I wanted to be. I came in to touch with my pro-choice feminist identity. I attended women’s mixers, and spoke with influential political women including Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren, and Hillary Clinton. These women showed me what it would be like to excel in a male dominated field, and haw to do it with courage, grace, and intelligence on your side.

Unfortunately, the Center for Medical Progress, a made up group of anti choice evangelicals, attempted to taint the name of Planned Parenthood by releasing highly edited videos. I aided in crisis communication against the attacks and am happy to report that that unsurprisingly, Planned Parenthood is coming out stronger and better than ever. The impact that anti-choicers can make in this country is a frightening thing to think about. Eventually, the members of the GOP in this country will stop the war they declared on women, but until then we all need to keep up the fights and not give in. It is resources like Planned Parenthood that serve as information and help for when we want to fight back.

Photo by Shannon Garner
Photo by Shannon Garner

In all, this summer was without a doubt the best summer of my life. I wouldn’t have given up my experiences this summer for anything. Planned Parenthood Federation of America is where I consider my home, and if I could help them again, I will.

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