By Natasha Muhamtezyanova, Contributing Writer
At the time of the political and financial uncertainty in regards to women’s health and reproductive rights, there are students across the country are mobilizing to support Planned Parenthood and debunk the myths surrounding the organization. One such student, Adam Croasmun, brought Planned Parenthood Generation Action to West Liberty University.
Croasmun, a senior elementary education major from Paden City, W. Va., has been a longtime advocate for women’s rights. Earlier this year, Croasmun attended a local Planned Parenthood event and became determined to bring their efforts to WLU campus.
“It is so important to have this organization at West Liberty during the current anti-women’s healthcare and anti-choice administration,” Croasmun said, “It’s important to stand up for women and to advocate for their rights.”
Planned Parenthood Generation Action (PPGA) consists of more than 300 youth groups across the country that educate youth about sexual health and inform their communities about women’s reproductive rights.
“Field organizer of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic Emily Thompson and Planned Parenthood intern Emily Womeldorff help me so much,” Croasmun said. “Since our chapter is new, they are guiding me to learn how to properly utilize our group and how to make a difference. Their passion truly inspires me.”
According to Croasmun, the student organization will focus on providing students with non-judgmental information about contraceptive services and show support for all women nationwide.
“A lot of our events and activism will happen throughout the semester at various events on campus,” Croasmun said. “We will meet a few times a month to discuss what is happening currently nationwide, what we want to do and how we can spread our message on campus,” he added.
Founded in 1916, Planned Parenthood aims to provide affordable healthcare for both women and men as well as educate young people about sexual assault, sexually transmitted diseases and more. In 2016, Planned Parenthood provided 1,200 Zika prevention kits and 336,614 breast exams, per Planned Parenthood’s annual report for 2016-17.
“Unfortunately, a huge amount of people seem to think that Planned Parenthood is all about funding abortions, and they think that is what we are out advocating for. What Planned Parenthood does is provide access to safe, legal abortions for women who need to make the most difficult decision using only 3 percent of their funding,” Croasmun said.
“The other 97 percent of their funding goes towards cancer screenings for women, birth control access and health benefits for women and families. We are a pro-choice group of advocates who believe it is the woman’s body, and she should have the right to make decisions,” Croasmun added.
Apart from his duties as the president of WLU PPGA, Croasmun serves as the president of WLU Student Government Association and is also a longtime supporter of LGBTQ community.
Photo provided by Yijing Shen