By Chris Casey | University Communications
DENVER - Several Colorado elected officials joined students in a rally for Planned Parenthood on Tuesday, arguing that the women's health advocacy organization is targeted for de-funding by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
About 120 students attended the afternoon rally at St. Cajetans on the Auraria Campus. The event was sponsored by Students for Barack Obama and Auraria Students United for Reproductive Justice.
Danielle Worthman, a CU Denver student who serves as vice president of the ASURJ, said when the group heard that Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, would be in Denver for tonight's presidential debate ASURJ wanted to get involved.
"As a student group that's completely pro-Planned Parenthood, we jumped on that opportunity to support her and try and get a crowd here," Worthman said. "It's for educational purposes so people do know what is on the line this election. Many people really have no idea that these things are being threatened."
According to the Planned Parenthood website, the organization serves millions of Americans each year with cervical and breast cancer screenings, general checkups, family planning and other health-care offerings.
Programs such as Planned Parenthood are necessary for people of "a multitude of different demographics" to improve their social status, said Jeffery Almeda, president of Students for Barack Obama. "It's programs like Planned Parenthood that try to improve opportunities for people to have just an equal option for health care," said Almeda, also a CU Denver student.
Speaking on behalf of the organization, as well as putting in plugs for President Obama, were U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., Sen. Michael Bennet, Gov. John Hickenlooper and Dr. Andrew Ross, a Denver gynecologist. Richards. An anti-abortion group rallied in front of St. Cajetans.
The lineup also spoke in support of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, which is also targeted for repeal by the GOP ticket.
Richards pointed out that the law makes it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against women. "He guaranteed women access to preventative care, including birth control no matter where we work or who we work for, and he made it illegal for insurance companies to deny us health insurance coverage because we had breast cancer or been a victim of domestic violence," she said. "For the first time, being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition in America."
(Photo: Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, talks at the rally at St. Cajetans on Oct. 2.)