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Daily Show co-creator causes pro-choice rallies, pro-life protests at fundraising event (The Oakland Press)

Posted on The Oakland Press on July 10, 2011.

By Nichole Seguin, special to The Oakland Press.

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Published: 07.10.11| Updated: 07.11.11

The ‘Planned Parenthood, I Am Here for You’ tour, featuring Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show, attracted hundreds of pro-choice supporters and pro-life protestors to Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac Saturday.

Winstead, who hosted her show at The Historic Eagle Theatre a few hours later, used the comedy as a fundraising event for Planned Parenthood advocacy efforts.

“Any organization that 97 percent of its purpose is to keep women healthy is the kind of organization I want to support,” she said. “I want to make sure that every single woman that needs affordable and great health care can get it.”

Winstead encouraged participants to hear her story, being a young woman who got pregnant in high school.

“Because of lack of information and pressures of being brought up in a Catholic family, I had no one to turn to but my silly little 16-year-old brain, which had no idea how to make really good choices as a sexual being,” she said.  “I think that the one thing people can’t do is deny that your story is a reality. I say listen to my story and then look around because most of the women you know used Planned Parenthood sources.”

Outside, both a protest and a rally took place. On one side of the street, a priest, community leaders and pro-life protestors sang songs and chants against Planned Parenthood, and more specifically, the new clinic they’re trying to create in Auburn Hills.

“There can be no peace as long as they’re waging war against the unborn,” Barb Yagely, a Troy resident, said.

On the other side of the street, a congregation of Oakland University students, political figures and pro-choice supporters rallied for in support of the show and the organization.

“This is not about abortion or life. It’s about women’s health and most people forget that,” Elisa Malile, OU Student Congress Vice President, said. “People need to realize that we’re not pushing women to have abortions, we’re pushing them to be healthy. There’s a young crowd (on the pro-life side) and I’m sure more than half of them are on birth control and are sexually active.”

Winstead’s stop in Pontiac was the first stop on her tour. She will be performing next at The Below Zero Lounge in Cincinnati on July 11.

For more information visit www.crowdrise.com/iamhereforyou/fundraiser/LizzWinstead

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