Planned Parenthood changes culture around reproductive rights outside Lansing

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From reproductive rights to the expansion of healthcare for all, Planned Parenthood has been in the center of both discussions.

A proud display of a natural body organ in the Planned Parenthood office in Lansing.

The topic of reproductive rights has circulated through governments on a local, national and global level.

The Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan services areas within Michigan and organize events to inform the community of all the work the organization does.

The organization hosts events like Sex Trivia at The Riv in Lansing to educate people more on sex facts and how to have a healthy sexual lifestyle. Along with this, every April the organization holds the Action Summit where hundreds of people crowd in Lansing to join Planned Parenthood for a day of advocacy and education.

As all the advocates congregated in their office in Lansing to plan upcoming events, the conversation in the space was inviting and enriching.

These community advocates wanted to come together to find the best ways to get the community informed about how important Planned Parenthood is to the surrounding community.

Among the group of eager, dedicated volunteers was Kyla Goolsby, an advocate and student, that enjoyed everything about being in Planned Parenthood’s Leadership Council.

I enjoy the energy at Planned Parenthood the most. Everyone is dedicated and passionate about preserving the health and rights of the person next to them,” said Kyla Goolsby. “It is this unity between employees and volunteers that make attendance a pleasure rather than a commitment. The opportunity to become involved in fun events that spread knowledge of important issues is unparalleled.”

Goolsby has been a part of the organization for a long time and knows that even though the group does tremendous work for the community, other efforts could be made.

The organization has attempted for years to break gaps between their community and college students. With this, they have worked continuously, every month, to make efforts within the Meridian Township community.

Emily Kurjan, a community advocate for the organization, thinks the work has started, but there’s room to fully inform communities about all the service being offered.

“I knew about Planned Parenthood but did not know of all these services the offered, and I know those facts would help some people connect more with the organization, especially at MSU,” said Kurjan. “Being a part of the organization on campus, I just hope to collaborate and reach out to communities like Okemos and Haslett a lot more.”

As Emily assures that the bridge for the campus to the organization is sustained, Ethan Schmitt is a strong advocate for Planned Parenthood, while being the community organizer for the region.

Consistently, Ethan’s task is to assure communities are informed and are available to connect with resources the organization provides. He also recognizes community allies, like Governor Whitmer, who have constantly stood with the organization and assured that they can get the proper support for the rights they endorse.

“We are very grateful for Governor Whitmer and we can’t wait to continue to see all the good she will do for Michigan,” said Schmitt “All healthcare rights, for everyone, are being challenged right now and we are just hoping to continue to gain support and allies to make a change.”

Ethan Schmitt Interview

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