Friday, September 17th was PARKing Day, an annual worldwide event that encourages people to turn urban spaces into temporary parks for the common good. Planned Parenthood participated for the second year on Friday, and we had a fabulous time!
We had 14 volunteers throughout the day. Our parking space outside of Antigone’s Bookstore on 4th Avenue in Tucson was transformed into a mini park, complete with a wading pool, astroturf, voter registration materials, and delicious baked goods. We spent the day talking to people about the upcoming election, and encouraging people to register to vote.
This was my second year participating in PARKing Day. I always have interesting conversations with people when I table for Planned Parenthood, and Friday was no exception. Several U of A students stopped by the table, and we encouraged them to register to vote in Arizona. Most of them didn’t even realize that there was an election in November. We gave them a list of the PPAA-endorsed candidates, and then many people proceeded to talk to us about their frustration with Arizona politics. We urged them to turn their frustration into action by going to the polls and electing pro-choice candidates who will protect women’s health.
Another person stopped by to ask about access to emergency contraception (aka “the morning after pill,” Plan B, or EC). I explained that the morning after pill is available over the counter, but that pharmacists in the state of Arizona can refuse to dispense emergency contraception and birth control, no thanks to the Omnibus Abortion Bill (HB2564), which was signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer last year. Fortunately, Plan B is available at the U of A health center, as well as all of Planned Parenthood’s clinics, and women do not need a prescription to get it.
Discussions like these are precisely why your vote matters in November. We need to take control of the legislature back and elect pro-choice candidates who trust women to make their own health care decisions. We need to elect a pro-choice governor who will veto legislation that curtails women’s access to reproductive health care services. If you haven’t already done so, please register to vote. In fact, if you sign up for the permanent early voter list in Arizona, you don’t even have to get to the polls – your ballot will be mailed directly to your house!
If you’re tired of all the anti-choice legislation that has been passed in several of the previous legislative sessions, get involved! Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona needs your help. We will be calling voters and knocking on doors every week between now and November. We will be attending several large events to talk to people about pro-choice candidates. And we will be blogging, Tweeting, and getting the word out with every possible medium to make sure that voters know that they can make a huge difference.
To get involved, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.