The Women are Watching Bus Tour officially ended in West Palm yesterday, where we had a fantastic rally with a number of elected officials and a few impressive patients and students!
Overall our time in Florida has been steamy but successful. If you haven’t spent time in southern Florida before, I have one word for you: humidity.
Even with high levels of humidity and a few thunderstorms, we had the wonderful time. We started our state tour in Orlando where we were lucky enough to speak to Jenna Tosh, one of the youngest CEOs in Planned Parenthood’s history, in addition to hearing from a number of local students at the University of Central Florida. One thing was certainly clear: they are excited to get out and vote in the upcoming election. Dr. Luci Belnick closed the event with a request for the out of touch politicians to take a note from Randy Newman, “Lord, if you won’t take care of us. Won’t you please, please let us be?”
The next morning we headed to Tampa where we truly had one of the most impressive rallies of the whole bus tour. In spite of the high temperatures and ominous clouds overhead more than 450 supporters came out to hear our fantastic lineup of speakers and rally to protect women’s health.
We heard from student Natalie Rella, who served as a volunteer and an intern at the local Planned Parenthood, her work inspired her to seek a graduate degree in Public Health; Randy Moody, a national co-chair of Republicans for Planned Parenthood; Elisa Cafferata, a fourth generation Nevadan, lifelong Republican and the oldest grand-daughter of Barbara Vucanovich the first woman elected to a federal office in Nevada; and Congresswoman Kathy Castor a women’s health champion and outspoken advocate in the Tampa Bay area.
Even with a 10 minute downpour in the middle of the event, the hundreds of women’s health advocates and supporters cheered Randy Moody on as he reminded the audience that allowing women to make their own health care choices aligns with the Republican Party’s inherent values of individual responsibility and liberty:
"When a woman goes to a Planned Parenthood health center for birth control or a lifesaving cancer screening, she’s acting on Republican principles of personal responsibility. She wants to take care of herself and her body. She wants to have a family only when she’s ready."
Simply put, it was a fantastic event, and the rainstorm didn’t cool down the energy of the crowd that was clearly fired up! Women know what’s at stake in 2012, and they are going to do something about it.
Our tour ended in sunny West Palm Beach, where we held a morning rally with congressional candidate Mayor Lois Frankel, Congressman Ted Deutch, and Congressman Alcee Hastings. You could feel the excitement from the crowd as Meredith Ockman, vice-president of Florida NOW called out, “If you stand with Planned Parenthood, Stand with me NOW!” and the hundred plus crowd all stood up to cheer her on. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to end our trip!View post...