More than 300 Wesleyan students (in addition to students from Southern Connecticut State U, Eastern Connecticut State U, Trinity College, and Conn College) filled the Tishler Lecture Hall this afternoon to support Planned Parenthood and listen to speeches by Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Southern New England Judy Tabar, President of Wesleyan Michael Roth, Planned Parenthood Campus Interns Zak Kirwood ’12 and Susanna Banks ’13, Alex Ketchum ’12, and Hannah Adams ’13 (daughter of PP’s national president, Richards).
In case you didn’t hear, House Republicans voted to completely defund Planned Parenthood last Saturday. (If you don’t know about PP, now you know.) If the Senate passes the spending bill to which is attached (which it likely/hopefully won’t due to the Democractic majority), millions of Americans will lose an invaluable source of affordable primary and preventive sexual health services. A fact that was shared repeatedly at the rally is helpful here: 1 in 5 women have gone to a Planned Parenthood clinic for health services.
More details, quotes, and photos after the jump.
At a rally on campus this afternoon, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, Southern New England president Judy Tabar, and CT senator Richard Blumenthal spoke out against the House of Representative’s measure to slash funding for Title X and to exclude from the federal budget all Planned Parenthood health services (birth control, cancer screenings, HIV testing, and other lifesaving care).
If you couldn’t make it to the rally but you still want to let Congress know that you don’t support the bill (and that you don’t support the amendment against Planned Parenthood), you can sign a massive petition here.
The Associated Press projects that Democrat Richard Blumenthal (right, buying a bagel after voting today in Greenwich) has won the race for U.S. Senate, beating out Republican opponent (and former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment) Linda McMahon, who reportedly spent at least $50 million of her own money on the election.
Blumenthal, 64, who has served as 23rd Attorney General of Connecticut since 1991, would be filling the seat of retiring Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd. Dodd announced that he would not seek reelection last January, following years of dropping approval ratings. He has held the seat since 1981.
Blumenthal’s projected win improves chances that Democrats will maintain control of the Senate. ABC reports:
Connecticut was one of three crucial races — along with Pennsylvania and West Virginia — that Republicans’ had targeted for victory in order to wrest control of the Senate from the Democrats. In addition to Connecticut, Democrats early on retained their seats in Delaware, Maryland, Vermont and West Virginia.