Born After Roe + Raygun Mixer
Raygun, Cedar Rapids — Friday, May 8 at 6 p.m.
For the third year, Born After Roe (BAR) and Raygun are partnering to a hold a mixer at Raygun’s Cedar Rapids store. The event raises money for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.
“It’s raised an average of $4,500 each year,” Jessalyn Holdcraft, steering committee chair for BAR, told Little Village.
BAR is a group of eastern Iowa Planned Parenthood supporters, all of whom were born after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision declaring a woman’s right to choose an abortion is protected by the Constitution.
“During the mixer, which lasts 90 minutes, people can shop at Raygun and 50 percent of the proceeds go to Planned Parenthood to support its work here in Iowa,” Holdcraft said. “We also partnered with Raygun, and they designed a shirt for the event, ‘My body, my call.’”
The event starts at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Light refreshments will be available, and there will be wine and beer for those over 21; 1st Street Wine is the official wine sponsor for the mixer. Tickets for the event are $5. Advance tickets are available online.
“At 6:30, there will be a short program, and Planned Parenthood’s State Executive Director for Iowa Erin Davison-Rippey will give us an update on Planned Parenthood in the state, and how things look for the eastern Iowa clinics,” Holdcraft said. “She’ll also offer a debriefing on the legislative session that just ended.”
Four Iowa legislators — Sen. Liz Mathis, Molly Donahue, Tracy Ehlert and Art Staed of the Iowa House of Representatives — will be attending the event, and participating in a Q-and-A session following Davison-Rippey’s remarks.
This year’s legislative session saw Iowa Republicans continue their attempts to defund Planned Parenthood. A provision in the Iowa Department of Human Services budget banned Planned Parenthood, and other organizations that provide abortion services, from receiving public grants to provide sex education. Supporters of comprehensive sex education had encouraged Gov. Kim Reynolds to use her line item veto to remove the provision. Reynolds didn’t.
In a written statement issued after Reynolds signed the bill on Friday, Planned Parenthood said the new restriction would prevent it from offering sex education classes in Iowa schools.
“This is a huge loss to the thousands of youth who would benefit from comprehensive and nonjudgmental sex education — programs that help them understand what a healthy relationship is, practice personal responsibility, delay sexual activity and protect themselves from unintended pregnancy and STDs when they do become sexually active,” Davison-Rippey said in that statement. “Denying young people this information is denying them their human rights.”
Holdcraft said that PPH’s sex education was “comprehensive and nonjudgmental.”
“The approach is inclusive, and not all sex education is,” she said. “It addresses all sexual orientations and identities.”
In 2017, the Republican-led Iowa legislature passed a bill cutting off Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood, which resulted in the nonprofit closing four of its Iowa clinics.
“I’m glad we have a partner like Raygun who wants to support Planned Parenthood, when Kim Reynolds and other politicians want to defund it, and defund medically accurate sex education,” Holdcraft said.