Planned Parenthood Great Plains, along with Kawehi, Frogpond, Jass, and Other Americans, will be hosting an event at the Granada on Saturday to get Kansans out to vote. Abortions in Kansas are in danger of being banned unless voters vote no on the upcoming August 2nd election.
We sat down with Val French, Planned Parenthood Great Plains’ Patient Advocacy Program Manager, to discuss the urgency behind the upcoming election, as well as the musicians rallying behind them. “This event is about helping break the stigma and keeping abortion safe, legal, and accessible in Kansas by showcasing storytellers,” says French. “Between storytellers, we’ll feature musical acts dedicated to reproductive freedom, because in my opinion, anything worth doing is worth having fun. A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.”
Organizers have already been working tirelessly to defeat the amendment, and are hoping this concert helps fuel them across the finish line. The goal is to get young voters to the polls on August 2nd, so they’re signing up at least 300 shifts for folks to canvass or phone bank and increase voter contact efforts. They’re also turning to a longtime ally: the arts. “I think the arts, music, and frankly, any creative outlet that allows folks to play with political concepts all have a vital role in advancing human rights,” says French. “We are all kids at heart and people connect, learn, and change through stories, which is what music and the creative arts are all about. These forms tell stories in different ways.”
French is hoping that the Granada concert also helps shift people’s moods from anxiousness to action. “I know everyone who cares about reproductive freedom has anxiety right now about what the future looks like for pregnant people. Rather than just sit with that anxiousness, creative people can take action using their talents,” French says. “By bringing local musicians and venues into this cause, we build a very close community around it. We lift the shame and stigma that surrounds abortion. There is also a ‘rock the vote’ element, because we need a younger audience that isn’t always politically active to get engaged, or else we’ll be left with people who hold outdated beliefs making decisions for everyone’s future. In our current political environment, people need to understand that if you are sexually active, you ARE (or should be) politically active. By helping these folks connect to the political scene, they can learn to channel their anger and anxiety into action, especially in Kansas with the vote on August 2, which will be the first statewide vote to protect access to abortion after the fall of Roe.”
When: Saturday, July 9 | 7:00 p.m.
Where: The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, KS
From the organizers:
About the Event
In order to defeat the amendment we must listen to, rally around, and empower our Patient Advocates, who are directly impacted by these policies.
Browse our vendors from Strawberry Swing Makers, see our gallery of artwork from our volunteer artist, Audrey Sanchez, inspired by our Patient Advocates, and marvel at a special installation by The Inevitable Project allowing you to tap into the long history of pregnant people taking control over their reproduction.
Together these displays give a powerful reminder that abortion is essential health care and an inalienable human right that has been sought since long before the current, cynical, and opportunistic political attacks on reproductive rights.