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Before I moved to Virginia Beach, I wasn’t aware of the battle over women’s healthcare. I was lucky enough to never face any threats to my health care issues when I was growing up, and I was completely blind to the stigma surrounding abortion. I lived in an area where no one really talked about women’s health issues.

When I moved [to Virginia] for college three years ago, I suddenly saw the barriers that women face when trying to make the decisions about their own health. I remember driving past a Planned Parenthood health center and seeing the protesters that were outside. It was — and still is — heartbreaking to see other women suffer because of ignorant politicians. Every day, I got more and more infuriated.

Darlene on the move!

So I used that anger as motivation. I got involved by volunteering with the Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC. A lot has happened in the last year — many losses, disappointments, and frustrations. But I am so glad that I decided to fight back. I am passionate about working with members of the Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC because they fight to break down barriers for people seeking reproductive health care. They understand that this can only be accomplished when we have leaders who trust women to make our own health care decisions.

Darlene and some of her Planned Parenthood-supporting friends!

I am thrilled that I get to fight for a governor who will help us break down those barriers. Dr. Ralph Northam has proven time and time again that he understands what it means to be a Virginian without access to reproductive health care. From fighting the transvaginal ultrasound bill as a Virginia state senator to supporting affordable access to contraception for all women, Dr. Northam is always standing up for Planned Parenthood patients. That’s why I am working so hard to get Ralph Northam elected!

Everything is at stake for reproductive health care in this election. I’m investing every ounce of energy I can, through my work as an undergraduate student at Virginia Wesleyan University, as a crisis advocate at the Young Women’s Christian Association, and as a student leader on campus. I’ve also vowed to lead 15 phone banks before election day. It’s so important that we have a governor who will fight for young Virginia women like me.

Darlene stands with Planned Parenthood — and Ralph Northam!

I hope you can join me in knocking on as many doors and dialing as many phone numbers as possible to ensure that Dr. Ralph Northam is our next governor.

Will you help me?

Click here to find a volunteer opportunity near you!

Paid for by Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Authorized by Ralph Northam, candidate for Virginia governor.

Tags: Election, Governor, ed gillespie, Ralph Northam, Virginia

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Defenders are a core group of supporters who have said they'll give their time to defend Planned Parenthood, the health services they provide, and the people who rely on them — in what just may be the fight of our lives.

Volunteer for PP

Now more than ever, Planned Parenthood is counting on volunteers who are ready to take action locally and online and stand up for reproductive health and rights.

Top 3 Ways to Take Action

Birth Control Isn’t Controversial

The Trump administration just announced a rule that would undermine the requirement that all insurance plans must cover no-copay birth control — a provision that's already benefited 62.4 million women.

Be a PP Defender

Defenders are a core group of supporters who have said they'll give their time to defend Planned Parenthood, the health services they provide, and the people who rely on them — in what just may be the fight of our lives.

Volunteer for PP

Now more than ever, Planned Parenthood is counting on volunteers who are ready to take action locally and online and stand up for reproductive health and rights.