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On Thursday night, students and friends of Planned Parenthood came out to the Strafford Room to support our ‘Friends With Benefits’ Concert, hosted by members of UNH VOX. UNH VOX is the University of New Hampshire Voices for Planned Parenthood student led group on campus. The fundraiser was a busy one with filled with live music, complimentary snacks from Panera and Chipotle, and a guest speech by Planned Parenthood of Northern New England’s CEO, Meagan Gallagher.

After some local music and a performance by Sisters in Step,UNH’s all-female, hip hop dance and step team, guests were treated to a short speech by Planned Parenthood of Northern New England’s CEO, Meaghan Gallagher. She spoke of the importance of standing for reproductive rights and how Planned Parenthood needs the support of all now more than ever. “The bottom line is that standing up for Planned Parenthood means trusting you to make the decisions that affect your body and your future,” she said to audience members. She spoke of how women’s reproductive justice has been under deliberate attack since the Trump administration has taken over the White house, threatening to defund Planned Parenthood, barring employers from providing equal and fair access to birth control, and altering the only federal family planning program to one that teaches abstinence only. She said that “we must realize that our rights are now more threatened than ever, and we must not be complacent; we must fight back.”

All in all, it was a lovely evening of fun, food, and fighting for our rights. In addition to the hospitality of UNH VOX the ‘Friends with Benefits’ Concert included an ensemble of co-sponsors including the Fight4Her campaign, the UNH Women’s Studies Department, Health and Wellness, WildActs, and College Democrats.

*Marissa Parker-Bair is completing an internship with Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund, and is a senior from UNH.