Planned Parenthood president discusses women’s reproductive rights

Jill Sederstrom

The president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America held a press conference Monday urging college students to get involved in a march to be held in April in Washington, D.C.

Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said now is the time for a march.

She said she believes President George W. Bush and his administration, as well as Congress and the courts, have taken actions to increasingly restrict women’s rights.

“I believe there are just times in history where it’s time to march, and this is just one of those times,” Feldt said in a telephone press conference.

Feldt said there are different ways reproductive rights have been under attack, which she referred to as a web of “anti-choice assault.”

She discussed the partial birth abortion ban recently signed into law by President Bush. Planned Parenthood and two other organizations have challenged the law individually and received temporary restraining orders for the doctors they represent. However, she said Attorney General John Ashcroft has promised to enforce the law strictly for those not protected by the temporary restraining orders.

Feldt said the partial birth abortion ban is not the only attack on women’s rights.

She said there have been attacks on family planning techniques, including birth control pills in the United States, and money has been taken away from international family planning programs.

She said abstinence-only programs are being taught in schools, which she said do not tell young people everything they need to know about their bodies and health.

Dan Rajewski, president of ISU Students for Life, said he does not believe the Bush administration or Congress has taken away women’s rights.

“The whole concept of women’s rights have been misinterpreted for 30 to 40 years,” said Rajewski, junior in meteorology.

Rajewski said women have the right to engage in sex, but once a child is conceived, the embryo is a human and has an inalienable right to live.

He also said forms of contraceptives should not be used. Rajewski said he believes if a man and woman really love each other, they should be able to give their entire bodies to each other, including their fertility. He said forms of contraceptives create a barrier.

Feldt said she believes the march, scheduled for April 25, will raise public awareness and demonstrate the public’s interest in women’s rights.

“The main thing is to demonstrate massively that the majority of Americans are not only pro-choice but they are willing to stand up and speak for it,” Feldt said.