If you do watch, you’re definitely aware of Lizz Winstead. Lizz is a blogger, stand-up comic, writer, and all-around feminist badass. Lizz is currently touring the U.S. to raise funds for Planned Parenthood affiliates. As you know, jerks across the country are threatening reproductive freedom by defunding Planned Parenthood, making sonograms mandatory, and even reducing access to birth control! (And they say they want to reduce abortions.)
Because Lizz had been touring the US selling out comedy venues, she decided to bring crowds in to raise money for the organization that had impacted her life so profoundly. If you’ve ever volunteered with your local affiliate, you know that they’re not exactly swimming with cash. In fact, most of them are having to reduce services and close additional days in order to pay the bills. (If you haven’t gone and volunteered…hey, go do that!)
I wanted to know why Lizz had chosen Planned Parenthood, and what she hoped to accomplish. I spoke with her about Planned Parenthood, anti-choicers, and how you can help. Follow me after the jump to find out what Lizz has to say!
1. Planned Parenthood is a significant part of many women’s lives – including your own. What do you hope comes out of this tour for Planned Parenthood?
Aside from the obvious to raise money for women’s healthcare, I hope that through telling my story, it will encourage others to start telling their stories. The more people hear about the choices women have made and the many ways Planned Parenthood has helped them, those trying to demonize PP will always think of someone they know who has used their services.
2. The state of reproductive rights and access is dire in many places in the US, with several states facing significant cuts to women’s health services, and other limitations on reproductive freedom. What can we do to reverse that tide?
Lend our voice of support by calling officials in all levels of government, saying you firmly support the services of Planned Parenthood. Thank your elected officials who fight for healthcare, help elect candidates who are firm supporters of reproductive rights, and in the meantime, donate time and money to help women in need.
3. You’re touring around the country hoping to raise money for Planned Parenthood affiliates who don’t have the funds to fix the x-ray machine, much less host ritzy fundraisers. What can we do locally, if you’re not coming to our cities to support Planned Parenthood clinics?
Well, these aren’t ritzy, they are all at affordable price points so people can come. I can’t really tell you what to do, each community is different and has different needs. Ask your local Planned Parenthood what they need! Also, if you want me to come, you could start a Facebook or Crowdrise event asking me to come to your town.
4. Do you think there will be protesters? Have you had to deal with a significant amount of crap on Twitter or Facebook from anti-choicers?
Probably will be. I ignore their crap.
5. You chose to conduct your pre-tour fundraiser on Crowdrise, a social fundraising site. How has the social media community responded to your call to action? Is Twitter full of passionate activists, or passive re-tweeters?
People have been so generous and realize that I am trying to raise money to cut overhead costs, so the ticket money all goes to Planned Parenthood.
6. We’re all interested to know about your tour, can you describe what it will be like for us longingly reading updates on Twitter?
I will be vlogging everyday from the tour and uploading photos so you will have first hand action at http://tour4pp.wordpress.com/
You can pitch in via Lizz’s Crowdrise page. Do your part in making sure that every possible dollar gets to a Planned Parenthood clinic, and ultimately, someone in need of reproductive or sexual care.
Amy is a social media strategist living in Dallas, Texas. She likes music, trashy TV, and ladybiz. tweet: @aemccarthy