Protecting Reproductive Rights for the Next Generation!
Who are the Young Advocates?
The Planned Parenthood Young Advocates work to expand active support for reproductive health services in our local communities. We are women and men in our 20’s, 30’s and early 40’s who host social events to raise awareness about and funds for Planned Parenthood’s programs and services. We’re professionals, grad students and stay at home parents. We work at nonprofits, small businesses, government agencies and large corporations. We believe that all individuals should have the knowledge, opportunity and freedom to make responsible choices concerning their health and sexuality.
What’s the point?
Our goal is to reach out to other people our age to provide accurate and up-to-date information about reproductive health care issues and to encourage those in our age group to stand up for their reproductive rights. We work to educate Gen X and Gen Y on Planned Parenthood's important role in the community, and to provide participants with the motivation, skills and tools to become leaders and supporters of the reproductive rights movement. Our events are a blast - the perfect blend of social gathering and social justice!
What kind of stuff do we do?
We primarily host social events to bring like-minded people together to talk about current Planned Parenthood initiatives and how they can help. Some recent events include:
An Art Bar Social at a wine bar/art gallery to kick-off our “Fill My Pills” campaign. We drank great wine, gave out great prizes, and spent a few minutes talking about pharmacists who are refusing to fill emergency contraception prescriptions and our plan to make sure women get their legally prescribed birth control without judgment or delay.
A “Toast to Choice” cocktail event at a Chinese bistro/karaoke Bar to celebrate the Roe v. Wade anniversary. We mixed, mingled and raised our glasses to toast Roe v. Wade. One of our Young Advocates briefly talked about the misconceptions many people have about Planned Parenthood and how to have a productive (and civil) conversation with someone who is misinformed.
Lube it Up at Mac’s Speed Shop. We gathered at a trendy biker bar (yes, a trendy biker bar) to raise awareness about Planned Parenthood’s services. We gave out condoms, flavored lubricant and a short overview of our health care and education services.
Safe Sex in the City. Who doesn't like drinking cocktails for a good cause? This party at a local bar raised awareness about emergency contraception and other forms of birth control provided by Planned Parenthood.
Young Advocates also help by getting involved with public affairs initiatives, doing community presentations, helping with letter-writing campaigns, talking about Planned Parenthood to friends and colleagues and getting other young people to come to events.
Why should we care about Planned Parenthood?
Whether we’re married, single, man or woman, gay or straight, have kids or not, Planned Parenthood’s work affects all of us. Consider that:
- It is our children and our friends’ children who receive medically inaccurate sex education. Federally-funded abstinence-only programs mislead teens with lies like touching a person's genitals "can result in pregnancy," and that “condoms fail to prevent HIV transmission as often as 31 percent of the time.”
- Our peers are being refused birth control by pharmacists who think it is morally wrong. Can you imagine going with your partner to a local pharmacy and being told by the pharmacist that he won’t fill the birth control prescription written by your doctor because it is against his morals? Believe it – because it happens all the time.
- Our generation faces the very real possibility of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. With the additions of Judge Roberts and Judge Alito to the Supreme Court, the right to a safe, legal abortion is in peril. We fear the abortion ban in South Dakota is just the beginning. Anti-choice activists see an opening and have already raised millions of dollars for litigation on abortion rights issues with the intention of taking them to the Supreme Court.
- Teen pregnancy costs the United States $7 billion a year, most of it coming from taxpayers’ wallets. $7 billion is the most conservative estimate. For every dollar spent on prevention, we save four dollars in treatment costs. Supporting Planned Parenthood makes good financial sense.
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are skyrocketing. One in two sexually active people will now contract an STI before they turn 25. Each year, one in four teens will get an STI. If not treated, STIs can cause serious health problems like infertility, ectopic pregnancies and cervical cancer.
Planned Parenthood changes and saves lives every day. Planned Parenthood is often the only contact many women and men have with the health care system. Our typical patient is a 20-24 year old working woman with no health insurance; without Planned Parenthood, she would be unable to afford an annual exam or birth control. We help people without insurance get cancer screening, HIV testing and other preventative care that saves lives.
If you’ve never been a Planned Parenthood patient, someone you love has. One in four women has been to Planned Parenthood at least once in her lifetime. The number of males seen at Planned Parenthoods around the country has increased by almost 60% in the last decade.
It’s our generation’s turn to speak out for the women, families and teens in our community who rely on Planned Parenthood. Throw in a chance to meet other progressive young people (not so easy in the South!) in a laid-back social atmosphere with free food, and fun products and prizes– why wouldn't you get involved?
Is there a big time commitment?
No. Your level of involvement is up to you. Many of us work, go to school, have kids, or all three! There are no mandatory meetings or required number of hours. We have some people who do everything from scout event venues and secure donations to those who just want to come to the gatherings and bring some friends. Do whatever works for your schedule.
Are there any upcoming events?
We have some exciting events that are in the planning stages and could use your help. If you can’t help plan, make plans to come!
Want to join?
We have active groups in Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh and Charleston and are developing a group in Greensboro. If you want to get involved, get on the Young Advocates mailing list or start a group in your area, email firstname.lastname@example.org.