On Stage

Think Pink

Tig Notaro stands with Planned Parenthood

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Despite winds that rattled houses, felled trees and shut down power to much of Whatcom County, the crowd in front of Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood during last month’s surprising storm stood strong.

Like many other people around the country, they were there to lend support to Planned Parenthood, who had recently been the target of a smear campaign alleging the longtime healthcare organization was selling tissue from aborted fetuses for profit.

Missives written by windblown attendees on a small whiteboard included notes such as “Thanks PP for my IUD!,” “Thanks PP for taking care of my mom when she had no insurance,” “Thanks PP for giving me choices,” “Thanks PP for family planning services and Plan B!” and “Thanks PP for HIS vasectomy.”

Keep those sentiments in mind Tues., Sept. 29, when Planned Parenthood supporters nationwide will take part in “Pink Out Day.” The event is in response to last week’s news that the United States House of Representatives voted to pull federal funding for the healthcare provider for one year, a move the White house noted would “limit access to health care for men, women and families across the nation, and would disproportionately impact low-income adults.”

While Republicans imply Planned Parenthood centers provide nothing more than abortions, numbers say otherwise. In 2013-2014, for example, its affliates gave more than 865,000 Pap tests and breast exams, conducted 704,079 tests for HIV, and provided 1,440,495 emergency contraception kits. The (safe and legal) abortions they provided during that same time frame constituted just three percent of the services performed.

“The contraception services that Planned Parenthood delivers may be the single greatest effort to prevent the unwanted pregnancies that result in abortions,” the respected New England Journal of Medicine says in support of the nonprofit. “We are outraged by those who debase these women, this work, and Planned Parenthood by distorting the facts for political ends.”

If you agree with them, and if you’d like to get involved in actively supporting Planned Parenthood, there are couple of ways to do. First is the aformentioned Pink Out Day. Next Tuesday, wear pink to show your support for women’s health, and make sure your friends know why. You can also share a #PinkOut selfie to #StandwithPP on social media, pink out your Facebook profile image, or attend a Pink Out event—such as a Cocktail Crawl taking place at the Temple Bar, Redlight, and the Shakedown, who will donate 15 percent of their sales to Planned Parenthood.

Another way to be part of the movement is to purchase tickets for a show with standup comedienne, writer and actor Tig Notaro, who’ll be performing Thurs., Oct. 8 at the Mount Baker Theatre.

The funds raised at the event will go to Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood’s early cancer and detection program. The issue is important to Notaro, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and subsequently had a double mastectomy. She opted out of reconstructive surgery, and in November of last year performed part of a set topless, showing her scars—yet making the audience forget they were there.

Those who are already fans of Notaro’s comedy know that despite facing multiple hardships, she’s managed to find the humor in her situation, and has continued to share her personal life in a way that lets people in on the joke.

Much like Planned Parenthood—and the supporters who braved the wind last month to share their love—she’s standing strong.

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