"I grew up and went to college in Utah. It was a very conservative environment, and I wasn't much of a rabble-rouser. But when I became a nurse and started working in a hospital in Central Louisiana, I was outraged by the pictures of aborted fetuses I'd see on the bulletin board in the cafeteria. They presented a totally distorted message.
"Later, I moved back to Utah, read about the teen pregnancy rate, started to ask questions, got involved with the local Planned Parenthood, and have been working with Planned Parenthood in one capacity or another for almost a quarter-century.
"When I first encountered the conservative Utah legislature, I thought, 'How hard could this be? We have the facts. We are armed with science and medically accurate information.' Twenty-five years later, what really angers me is that we still have flawed policies because ideology is taking the place of science and accurate education. It floors me that ignoring research is an all-pervasive theme in this administration.
"Raising funds to fight these policies is something I've been involved with for a long time. I have five grandkids, and we have to make things better by the time they are teenagers. It's morally wrong to teach kids abstinence without a backup. It's just not right. Do I have hope? You have to have hope. You have to keep trying, keep working, keep pressing, and keep on trucking.
"Armed with the facts, we are on the moral high ground, and we will win." — Annette Cumming, chair, Planned Parenthood Leadership Council
"As a native Milwaukeean, I take pride in my city. And as an African-American woman, I value my community above all. However, Milwaukee faces many adversities, especially in the black population, including high teen pregnancy rates and elevated infant mortality rates. But these and other obstacles aside, I know the good in my community. So I fight.
"As a volunteer with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, I feel empowered to effect change in my community. By giving a voice to the voiceless and taking action to challenge the systems that create the policies and laws that support vicious cycles of poverty and disease, I hope to empower and organize others in my community to get involved. Many of my people are not fully informed about the legislative and political process, especially how they influence social issues like health care inequity. While with Planned Parenthood, I hosted an African-American health house party, petitioned and participated in a demonstration to implement responsible reproductive health education in schools, conducted phone banking during campaigns, and more.
"The most rewarding experience for me was registering voters in Milwaukee and lobbying our state legislators in Madison. A great number of people in my community are unable to vote due to many obstacles. Despite this, I was able to help some of them who had never before exercised their right to vote. Furthermore, I had an opportunity to stress the importance of voting and share how legislation affects our everyday lives.
"My goal is to organize efforts throughout the city to work on social issues. I want people to understand what I've learned about grassroots organizing because it's an effective model to organize around other issues. Planned Parenthood has given me the tools to connect effectively with my community. And for that, I will always be grateful." — Tondalayo Davis, volunteer, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
"I started volunteering in 1998 for Planned Parenthood initially because I thought it was a good organization that needed some help. What keeps me coming back is that the people are so nice. Working at Planned Parenthood and doing my morning walks is what keeps me young.
"I'm an 85-year-old retired physicist and long term resident of San Diego, CA. When the Republican Party abandoned the equal rights amendment in the '70s, I was galvanized into action because the party platform moved in a direction that I didn't agree with. I have a strong belief in civil and individual rights. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' I believe Planned Parenthood fights for the rights of the individual by providing access to reproductive health care. I also strongly believe in preserving the Roe v. Wade decision." — Chuck Johnson, volunteer, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, California
Chuck Johnson has donated almost 8,500 hours to Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest.
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