Monday, April 12, 2004

Million expected at rally


Planned Parenthood chartering buses to March for Women's Lives

By Maggie Downs
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Dozens of Greater Cincinnati women will gather at the March for Women's Lives in Washington, D.C., on April 25. Many will be attending courtesy of local Planned Parenthood organizers, who have arranged charter buses for anyone who wants to attend.

More than one million people are expected to participate in the rally, which could make it the largest march for legal abortion in U.S. history.

Organizers say it comes at a particularly turbulent time. President Bush placed a ban on what opponents call "partial-birth abortion" in November and recently signed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act into law.

"Particularly now, choice and reproductive health care and family planning have been under pretty constant attack," said Susan Momeyer, president and chief executive officer of the Cincinnati region of Planned Parenthood.

This is the first national abortion-rights march since 1992.

"Choice is a widely held value," Momeyer said. "Sometimes it's important to stand up and be counted."

Seven national groups have joined forces for the event: the American Civil Liberties Union, Black Women's Health Imperative, Feminist Majority, Naral Pro-Choice America, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, National Organization for Women and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

The march will begin at noon April 25, on the national mall. After marching, a 1-4 p.m. rally will be held.

Charter buses will depart Cincinnati on April 24 and drive overnight to arrive in time for the march. The buses will arrive back in Cincinnati early April 26.

Seating will be available for those with disabilities. The route is wheelchair accessible and transportation will be provided for those who cannot negotiate the route. Also, the rally program will be interpreted in American Sign Language.

Planned Parenthood in Cincinnati is made up of eight health centers. Doctors see more than 30,000 patients each year for abortions, gynecology, mammograms, prenatal care and other services. This year the organization is celebrating its 75th year in the Queen City.

How to participate

What: March for Women's Lives

When: Sunday, April 25.

Where: Washington, D.C.

Cost: $50 non-students; $20 students.

Information: E-mail cincimarches@ppfa.org, call (513) 721-7635 ext. 425 or visit (www.plannedparenthood.org/cinci) .

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E-mail mdowns@enquirer.com




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