Through the CSLP program this semester, I have volunteered with the Planned Parenthood Metropolitan Washington Action Fund. As I worked in an office rather than with the actual people Planned Parenthood serves, the work that I’ve done surrounds advocating for those people.
My primary project at Planned Parenthood for the first half of the semester was an outreach project relating to the Whole Women’s Health supreme court case. I made phone calls to college students throughout DC who had previously volunteered with Planned Parenthood, and invited them attend a rally on March 2nd for the supreme court case. I also led a group of AU students to the rally. After spring break, most of my work has been research-based. As the DC City Council elections are coming up, I have been doing research on the candidates, the committees they sit on, and their stances on reproductive health care. This research will help Planned Parenthood Metropolitan Washington decide who to endorse.
I am connecting my volunteer experience to my Gender, Poverty, and Health class. Many of the themes we’ve explored in the class, including access to health care resonate clearly with the work I’ve been doing at Planned Parenthood. Through both the class and the volunteer work, I have learned the importance of advocacy. Sometimes it feels like there is only so much I can do to help women whose reproductive rights are at risk. But advocacy aimed at making political change is one small way that I can make a difference.