Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties’ Action Fund held their annual Roe v. Wade Anniversary event on Thursday, January 22. The luncheon, which took place at the Hilton in Costa, Mesa, CA, drew an audience of more than 270 supporters.
Keynote Speaker Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, spoke about the politics in play for women’s reproductive access and the immediate need to continue the fight locally. This year’s event raised $50,000 to elect candidates who are pro-women’s health and pro-comprehensive sexual education.
Jon Dunn, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties’ Action Fund, began the conversation by emphasizing the need to continue to support and elect pro-women’s health politicians at the local, state, and federal levels. He also discussed the new threats to women's ability for reproductive choice and medical privacy during pregnancy.
“Reproductive freedom needs to shift to reproductive justice so that every woman has the ability to control her own pregnancy,” said Dunn. “We must double our efforts and broaden our focus to ensure success and turn the tide against a new wave of laws throughout the U.S.”
In 2014, Planned Parenthood’s Community Action Fund locally helped elect two new progressive Congressional candidates and 13 pro-comprehensive sex education school board members. The Fund also supported efforts to defeat three state ballot initiatives to restrict abortion across the country; two of the three were successfully defeated.
“We have to be vigilant and continue to elect a new generation of pro-choice officials who understand and value comprehensive sex education and access to reproductive health care,” emphasized Dunn. “We need to be prepared to build a progressive base in preparation for the 2016 presidential election.”
Chemerinsky spoke about the recent Hobby Lobby case and the setbacks the recent decision could have on future reproductive health care rights for women. He discussed the role the Supreme Court Justices will have on the issue, and agreed with Dunn on the importance of the 2016 presidential race.
In addition, Chemerinsky noted that fights need to take place at the state level, to ensure the right ballot initiatives are passed and that reproductive rights are protected for future generations.
Roe v. Wade was a legal case that took place in 1973. It made an everlasting impact on reproductive health care access. On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Roe v. Wade and held that it is the right of each woman to decide whether to continue or to terminate her pregnancy.
Attendees of the afternoon luncheon included Planned Parenthood Community Action Fund supporters and political figures, including former Assembly members Sharon Quirk-Silva, Jose Solorio, Betsy Butler and retired Senator Joe Dunn.