This week Planned Parenthood commemorates the 37th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade court case with statewide events, according to a news release from Planned Parenthood.
Events are to take place at Planned Parenthood clinics all across Colorado including in Durango, Fort Collins and Denver, said Monica McCafferty, the media relations specialist for the Planned Parenthoods of the Rocky Mountains.
“Boulder held one of many events over the next week; tonight we are headed to Fort Collins,” McCafferty said.
Friday marks the 37th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion within the first three months of a woman’s pregnancy, according to Cornell University Law School’s collection of Supreme Court decisions.
This decision rendered the anti-abortion laws of 46 states unconstitutional.
“The ‘73 decision was historical,” McCafferty said. “This decision is still upheld and the events are to celebrate that Roe v. Wade is upheld. It allows women to be healthy and have choices and these events are to raise awareness and celebrate.”
Last week, the anniversary kicked off with a celebratory open house at the Boulder Planned Parenthood clinic.
The open house included tours of the clinic for the donors, activists and volunteers who stopped by. It also featured a visual arts display, entitled the “Roe Remembrance Wall,” that featured expressions of the pro-choice movement both before and after the Supreme Court decision, according to a Planned Parenthood media advisory.
“It is a wall that collapses, so we move it from event to event, letting people express their sentiments of what Roe v. Wade means to them and to share their thoughts with other people from the pro-choice community,” McCafferty said.
Some students shared the same celebratory emotions about the historic case, although some said they were unsure of the overall impact the open house at the Boulder Planned Parenthood clinic had on the community.
“I totally agree with the court case in general and the celebrations being held,” said Jaime Dinan, a 21-year-old senior Japanese major. “The event probably didn’t have a big impact, I’m not sure who all knew about it.”
Despite sharing sentiments, students said they probably would not have attended had they known about the events in advance.
“I’m big-time pro-choice,” said Kayla Brown, a 20-year-old sophomore and political science and environmental studies major. “I’m glad [the decision] is still standing. I’m from the South and it’s interesting to see people going out and celebrating the decision. I would not have gone to the events though.”
Amid the excitement over the celebrations, there are some who said they do not agree with how Roe v. Wade has shaped the subject of abortion.
“As a parent alone, I don’t agree with the culture of death that abortion has caused in our society,” said Janna DiGiacomo, the executive director of Real Choices pregnancy care center. “I believe it began to help people, but I’m concerned about the future.”
DiGiacomo said she was also apprehensive about the impact Planned Parenthood’s celebrations might be having on the Boulder community.
“I assume it was meant to be a positive thing, but their presence is not positive for me because of the work they do,” DiGiacomo said.
Planned Parenthood clinics hope that the commemorative events taking place throughout the next week help to bring awareness to the public about what the clinics are doing with health care reform legislation, McCafferty said on behalf of the Planned Parenthood organization.
“Planned Parenthood has had an active role is advancing women’s health and being a strong front for women so that they can keep the benefits they have today and make sure they have access to good care,” McCafferty said. “Roe v. Wade means a lot to us; we are advocating for common sense policies that put women’s health first.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Sarah Simmons at Sarah.firstname.lastname@example.org.