California Governor Gavin Newsom and Long Beach community show support for Planned Parenthood


Kristen Naeem | Signal Tribune

A patient of Planned Parenthood shares her personal story of abortion at the Fight Night for Reproductive Freedom event on Friday, Nov. 15 at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California hosted their “Fight Night for Reproductive Freedom” event at the Aquarium of the Pacific on Nov. 15 following the California Democratic Convention that took place from Nov. 14 to Nov. 17.

A patient of Planned Parenthood, who identified herself to the crowd as Cindy, came on stage at the beginning of the night to share the story of her two abortions.

Her first abortion occurred when she was 19 years old and was carried out by Planned Parenthood. Cindy stressed the value of the care and support she received from the organization during that difficult time in her life.

Her second abortion at 31, provided through private insurance, was made more difficult than the first when healthcare professionals assumed that she wanted to bring the pregnancy to term.

“On my way out of the doctor’s office that day, the nurses yelled across the hall ‘Congratulations!'” Cindy told the crowd. “Their assumption was incredibly hurtful.”

Cindy said she shared her abortion stories in order to make other women who have gone through the same thing feel less alone and to lessen the stigma of abortion.

“For so long I had gone about my life as if I wasn’t part of the one in four women who have had an abortion before they’re 45. But I am one.[…] The shame of having an abortion has followed me around for years, keeping me from ever talking about it, even to my family,” Cindy said.

California Governor Gavin Newsom also spoke at the event, and began by praising the diversity and liberalism of the state.

“It’s good to be in the most un-Trump city in America,” Newsom told the crowd. “The most diverse city in the world’s most diverse democracy.”

In Newsom’s address to the crowd, he assured Planned Parenthood supporters that California would continue to be a leader in women’s reproductive freedom.

“Heracles famously said to the Athenians ‘we do not imitate for we are models of this.’ That’s California.” Newsom told the crowd.

Newsom was also critical of the current administration and its policies regarding women’s reproductive choices.

“We live in a country that disproportionately focuses on adopting propositions of dominance, power and aggression,” Newsom said.

Planned Parenthood’s Fight Night for Reproductive Freedom featured a live performance by the Grammy award winning girl group, The Pointer Sisters. The musical group was formed by a group of sister’s from Oakland, California and currently consists of three members.

After their performance, group member Anita Pointer told attendees that Planned Parenthood had provided her with prenatal care during her pregnancy and encouraged the audience to show support for the organization.

Revolheart, an organization promoting women in combat sports, had a booth at the event and informed attendees about the work it does in providing equity for women in sports.

“Our mission is to be part of the change in sports,” Revolheart founder Melissa Ausilio told the Signal Tribune. “And so we do that by creating gloves tailored to fit women, we also participate in a number of events aimed at growing the sport, so we’re just honored to be here tonight, to be supporting Planned Parenthood. It’s a wonderful event. We’re very much entrenched in the fight for equality and our position [in] that is in the sport of boxing.”