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Megan Gogerty will headline the Emma Goldman Clinic’s Annual Choice Event on Saturday

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Emma Goldman Clinic’s Annual Choice Event

Hotel Vetro — Saturday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m.

Megan Gogerty hosts The Last Night In America at The Mill in Iowa City on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Megan Gogerty will be the keynote speaker at the Emma Goldman Clinic’s 2020 Annual Choice Event, the clinic announced on Monday. Actually, the clinic’s press release refers to Gogerty as “the keynote speaker (and performer).” Gogerty’s performance will be “based on the theme of ‘What Would Emma Do?’,” according to the clinic.

Gogerty is a playwright, actor and stand-up comedian who teaches musical theatre, dramatic literature and playwriting at the University of Iowa. Her work has been produced internationally, and she was honored with the Special Cloris Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement at the 2017 Greater Des Moines Cloris Leachman Excellence in Theatre Arts Awards.

Reviewing Gogerty’s performance in Feast., her latest one-woman show, for Little Village, Saunia Powell wrote, “For myself, I found so many moments and layers of catharsis — I spent most of the show forgetting I was watching (and reviewing) a new piece of theater, and instead just felt a lot of my own feelings.”

Gogerty is a strong supporter of reproductive choice and creating access to health care for everyone.

“Join me!” Gogerty wrote onher website about the Choice Event. “If nothing else, I have a spectacular outfit planned!”

The annual fundraising event is always scheduled to coincide with the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade, which was handed down on Jan. 22, 1973. The Emma Goldman Clinic was founded as a nonprofit focused on reproductive health care by Iowa City feminists shortly after the high court’s decision.

Megan Gogerty shows off one of several bingo prizes, a hand-stitched uterus patch, at The Last Night In America event at The Mill, Iowa City. Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

In addition to providing health services to women for almost half a century, the clinic has also been a leader in a fight to preserve a woman’s right to choose. In 2018, the Emma Goldman Clinic was one of the plaintiffs in the ACLU of Iowa’s lawsuit to overturn the so-called “fetal heartbeat bill” that Gov. Reynolds signed into law in May 2018. If the law had taken effect, it would have been the most restrictive abortion ban in the country.

A state district court judge struck down the law in January 2019, relying on an Iowa Supreme Court decision that found the Iowa Constitution provides a stronger guarantee of a woman’s right to choose an abortion than the U.S. Constitution does.

Gov. Reynolds has proposed an amendment to the Iowa Constitution, declaring that it “does not grant the right to an abortion” in response to the court striking down the fetal heartbeat law.

“It’s time, and unfortunately it’s necessary,” Reynolds said, when calling for the amendment during her Condition of the State address last week.

This year’s Emma Goldman Clinic Annual Choice Event will be held on Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Hotel Vetro in downtown Iowa City. The two-and-a-half-hour event starts at 6 p.m. General admission tickets are available online for $60; student tickets are half-price. Sponsorship-level support is available as well.

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“WWED (What would Emma do) T-shirts are available for purchase at the Clinic in advance or at the Choice Event to wear and show solidarity,” the Emma Goldman Clinic said.

Mark Ruggeberg and Bob Brooks, owners and operators of the Brown Street Inn, will be honored at the event with this year’s Champion of Choice Award.


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