On Tuesday July 19, 2016 Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio took to the streets in Cleveland, Ohio. To fight back against political attacks on reproductive health care by many politicians at the Republican National Convention (RNC), we had street teams of volunteers equipped with signs and pink t-shirts go around to all the major Cleveland landmarks like the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, the FREE Stamp at Willard Park, and the outdoor chandelier at Public Square, one of Planned Parenthood’s awesome health centers and many, many more.
Volunteers snapped pictures, captured videos, engaged supporters, and spread positivity throughout the day. Our specific street team had some awesome opportunities and encounters. We got to rock out at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame with Planned Parenthood Action Fund VP Dawn Laguens chanting “My body! My choice!” and other reaffirming statements. We also ran into former Mayor of Cleveland Dennis Kucinich while waiting to cross the street. And he approached us first! Much like the overwhelming opinion shown across the state he expressed his support and we were pleasantly reminded that #OHStandswithPP.
And the support was bipartisan. An Alaskan delegate attending the RNC approached us and thanked us for the work Planned Parenthood does. He said he remembered when abortion was illegal, and that we can’t go back to that time.
The best part of the day was the meaningful and genuine interactions with people. We had a member of the media approach us expressing gratitude and proceeding to share her abortion story. Several onlookers enthusiastically asked to take pictures of or with us. We met some awesome volunteers with Food not Bombs and talked about the issues and the atmosphere in Cleveland.
Our visibility action on social media and in real time, much like all else we do, elicited some opposition here and there but the support, gratitude, and positivity we received was much louder!
This was a fun and rewarding experience as we interacted with people who recognize the importance and necessity of reproductive rights for all.
We are proud to say we stand with Planned Parenthood!