KANSAS CITY, MO — Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes is thrilled to announce Katy Guillen and The Drive as the musical guest for its annual PinkOut event this Friday, Sept. 6, at recordBar in Kansas City. PinkOut is an annual concert fundraiser for supporters of reproductive rights and abortion access. This is the fourth year that Planned Parenthood has hosted the event, but the first year that proceeds will benefit the organization’s advocacy and political arm, Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes — a direct response to the need to protect access to the sexual and reproductive health care that Planned Parenthood provides at its health centers in Missouri and Kansas.
“Now more than ever we need our community to show up and speak out in support of our advocacy work: protecting access to safe, legal abortion, and all of the health care that Planned Parenthood provides,” Rachel Sweet, Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes regional director of public policy and organizing, said. “This event gives us an opportunity to seize a critical moment and raise awareness about all of the ways that anti-abortion politicians are trying to suppress our basic right to bodily autonomy, and what we can do to fight back.”
In the first half of 2019, state legislatures across the country passed a rash of extreme abortion bans, all with one goal in mind: to bring a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade to the Supreme Court, and make abortion inaccessible in this country. In Missouri, anti-abortion politicians passed HB 126, a bill that includes an 8-, 14-, 18-, and 20-week abortion ban. The only abortion-providing health center in the state, another Planned Parenthood affiliate in Missouri, filed a lawsuit challenging this bill in federal district court and was granted relief from a portion of the bill last week.
Last month, Planned Parenthood in Missouri was forced out of Title X, the nation’s only federal family planning program, because of a Trump-Pence administration gag rule that makes it illegal for health care providers in the program to even refer patients for an abortion. Title X is designed to ensure that everyone, no matter where they live, how much money they make, and whether or not they have health insurance, has access to basic preventive reproductive health care like birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, and annual exams.
In 2018, Planned Parenthood Great Plains provided preventive care to nearly 13,000 patients in Missouri who relied on Title X. The gag rule threatens access to the critical health care and information that thousands of Missourians need to control their lives at the most basic level.
Just across the state line, the Kansas legislature tried, and failed, to enact SB 67, a bill that would have forced doctors to give their patients medically inaccurate information about an untested, experimental treatment called medication abortion “reversal,” despite the fact that this practice is unproven, untested, and could put women’s health at risk.
In addition to lobbying to sustain reproductive health champion Governor Laura Kelly’s veto of this anti-abortion bill, Planned Parenthood celebrated the Kansas Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that the Kansas Constitution protects a woman’s right to safe, legal abortion. However,anti-abortion politicians have said that they will put forth an extreme measure next year that would remove the right to safe, legal abortion from the Kansas Constitution.
“By coming out to PinkOut on September 6, we’re asking folks to join us in sending a loud message: Personal decisions about reproductive health care are just that — personal, and not to be made by politicians,” Sweet said. “We hope to see a large turnout of supporters from both sides of the state line who will show up to protect access to health care that Kansas Citians need and deserve.”
Doors for the event will open at 9 p.m. Event tickets are $25 in advance. For more information about PinkOut and to purchase tickets visit: PartyforPP.org/2019-pink-out
Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes is an independent, nonpartisan 501(c)4 nonprofit organization that advocates for sexual and reproductive health and rights in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. We lobby state lawmakers, mobilize more than 120,000 grassroots supporters, and engage in issue education in order to protect and expand access to health care and comprehensive sex education in the communities we serve, and to promote Planned Parenthood’s mission.