One in five women in the United States has visited a Planned Parenthood clinic to receive health care. And three of seventeen women who are also Colorado state senators showed up to sing karaoke at a bar off the capitol Tuesday night to raise money for the organization’s local political arm, Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado. Denver-area senators Lucia Guzman, Evie Hudak and Linda Newell celebrated accessible women’s reproductive health services from their spots at the bar and from center stage at Hamburger Mary’s, where more than a hundred revelers delivered dramatic renditions of classic hits, tossed back cheap drinks and stuffed pockets with prophylactics.
“The pro-choice community came together for a night of dancing, singing, duets and solos– all for a good cause,” Cathy Alderman, vice president of public affairs, told the Colorado Independent. “Just like the song selections, attendees represented numerous generations and demonstrated the commitment among Coloradans to protecting women’s health and ensuring women always have the right to make personal private decisions about their own bodies.”
Planned Parenthood Votes supports local pro-choice and pro-family-planning policies as well as candidates and officeholders who promote those policies.
The organization also works to advance local comprehensive sex education. This week the group will be hosting online and campus activities that will dovetail with Planned Parenthood’s national “Sex Ed Week of Action.”
According to the Guttmacher Institute, only 10 states and the District of Columbia require that sex education programs in middle school or high school include information about about birth control and only 21 states and the District of Columbia require any type of sex education at all.
House Bill 1292 passed in 2007 sets the standard in Colorado. Schools here don’t have to teach sex ed but schools that elect to teach it have to teach it in a comprehensive fashion, which includes instruction on abstinence as well as birth control. The instruction must be built on a foundation of medically accurate science-based research.
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Communications Director Monica McCafferty told the Independent that the organization this year will seek to educate the public on where school board candidates stand on issues like sex education. She said Planned Parenthood Votes has sent surveys to candidates and will disseminate their responses. She also said the organization fully expects another anti-abortion “personhood” initiative to appear on the 2012 ballot in the state and that her organization will work to defeat this one as it did the last two versions.