AU club supports April abortion rights rally

Planned Parenthood is planning now for what organizers expect to be the largest abortion rights rally since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States.

Choice USA, an AU student club, has expressed support for the rally and Planned Parenthood is hoping to start a chapter of Voices of Planned Parenthood on campus. However, the club is only in the discussion and planning stages.

The March For Choice rally will take place next April 25 at the Lincoln Memorial, with a march down to the Mall later in the day.

"It will be absolutely historic in size, politics, numbers and timing," said Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood is leading the effort as part of an abortion rights coalition of several groups including the National Organization for Women and the Feminist Majority.

"We are committed to not being the generation who won and lost their reproductive rights ... and we are an inch away from losing [them]," Feldt said.

She said she is particularly worried about future appointments to the Supreme Court because President George W. Bush has expressed a desire to overturn Roe v. Wade and the Supreme Court is so closely divided on the issue already.

AU junior Perri Chandler, president of Choice USA, said, "Choice USA is definitely behind Planned Parenthood."

Chandler, a student in the School of International Service, added that Choice USA plans to be present at the March For Choice.

"We're working as much as we can," Chandler said. "We're trying to get members together."

Discussion of organizing a separate club began with AU alumna Jamia Wilson, who currently works for Planned Parenthood, whose job inspired her to bring Voices of Planned Parenthood to her former campus.

"We have been talking. There's definitely interest," Wilson said. "But I've just been in the talking stage."

Both Voices and Choice USA are committed to raising awareness and discussion of sexuality, and sexual health. Last year Choice USA distributed condoms and organized performances of "The Vagina Monologues," a play that celebrates women's sexuality.

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