BRATTLEBORO — Students from Thomas Aquinas College in Northfield, Mass., lined the sidewalks around Planned Parenthood on High Street on Tuesday to protest the reproductive health care agency’s actions regarding abortion.
Magdalena Huckins, from California, a student at Thomas Aquinas College, organized the weekly student protest at the Brattleboro health center; it took place around 4 p.m.
“This Planned Parenthood does referrals for abortions. That is a big thing for us, that people know there are other choices in the area,” said Huckins. “There are several other good pregnancy centers in the area.”
Huckins mentioned the Branches Pregnancy Resource Center at 26 Birge St. as an alternative; Branches is a faith-based organization.
Huckins added that the protest was not connected to the school or the courses that the students are taking, rather that it is the individual choice for them to come out here and pray. A May newsletter from St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Brattleboro encouraged people to “peacefully pray the rosary” with college students at Planned Parenthood every Tuesday at 4:15 p.m.
“We are out protesting abortions solely because we believe that it is the taking of an innocent human life, and we are protesting Planned Parenthood specifically because it is the largest abortion provider in the nation, and that is why we are out here,” Huckins said about their gathering.
According to the Planned Parenthood website, the Brattleboro location is focused on the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, medical exams, birth control education and supplies, emergency contraception, pregnancy testing and counseling, and testing and treatments for urinary tract infections. They also do provide referrals to other clinics that provide abortions, but do not provide the service.
On Sunday, a reproductive justice rally hosted by local high school students marched downtown in Brattleboro in response to a new abortion law in Texas. Last week, hostile chalk writing on High Street sidewalks was written nearby the Planned Parenthood office.
“I’m really pissed that we’re still having to fight for basic rights like this when there are things out there that are so much more dire to be focusing on right now,” said Eliana Merson of Brattleboro, one of the organizers of Sunday’s demonstration.
Reformer reporters Bob Audette and Chris Mays contributed to this report.