• Mary Elizabeth

Mary Rufo: Standing With Planned Parenthood

While I’ve driven by Planned Parenthood in my hometown of Clifton Park, NY thousands of times before, I only learned about their mission and values several years ago. Of course, I knew that they offered abortion services because that specific service was one that garnered highly politicized attention. However, they offer more services than abortion that include STI testing and birth control. In my internship role, it’s important that when developing the digital advocacy manual to guide volunteers, I stress the values and goals of the organization.

I attended my first Planned Parenthood event last week that honored the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I met with other organizers prior to the virtual event to discuss all of the logistics of the event. Several hundred people signed on to share their experiences with abortion and speak their truth. Hosting events that reach a large number of people allows for us to build relationships between them and the organization to the point that they may decide to become more involved in the organization through volunteer opportunities. The way it was explained to me is it’s almost like a pyramid. You start out with people interested in Planned Parenthood at the bottom with the hopes that through strong communication, they become more active and advocate for Planned Parenthood at higher levels.

In addition to writing and designing the manual, I will start phone banking next week. I did a lot of phone banking for FL PIRGS when we were registering people to vote on campus so it is a new task I am excited for.

-- Mary

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