Friday, May 29, 2009

Sex Education Disguised as F U N! By: Julie, PPWNM Communications Director

A huge thank you to Julie in the West and Northern Michigan Affiliate for letting me share this article she wrote with you all. Enjoy!!!!!

Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan held its 2nd annual Teen Pregnancy Prevention Carnival on May 27, 2009. The event was held at the lovely Riverside Park in Grand Rapids, MI, with about 50 people attending.

Members of PPWNM’s Something to Say teen advocacy program were responsible for planning and implementing the carnival, along with PPWNM education staff members Carly A., Poppy H., Julie M., Staci R., and Sara W. Something to Say teens recruited friends and classmates to attend. Invitations signed by parents/guardians were required for entry.

The two-hour carnival titled “Real Talk from the ‘Hood” featured games, prizes, raffles, a picnic dinner, freshly made popcorn and cotton candy, henna tattoos, music, and most importantly — education disguised as fun!

Teens reflected on the importance of comprehensive sex education, both in writing and on videotape: “Sex education is important to me because I’ve seen many of my peers make life-altering decisions without proper knowledge of the consequences,” said a young Kentwood man. A teen girl from Grand Rapids told us, “It’s important to me because sex can cause so many harms, and younger and younger teens are starting to do it. They really need to be educated about it.”

Carnival games included STI Duck Pond, Four Cornerstones Darts, Body Parts Match Game, Comprehensive Sex Ed Match Game, and Dizzy Bat Condom Wrap. The last game required teens to hold a baseball bat top-side-to-ground, place their foreheads on the bottom end of the bat, spin around 10 times, run across the grass and properly dress a penis model with a condom — it’s much harder than it may sound! The activity is meant to simulate what it might feel like to attempt to practice safe sex, even under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Teens could also visit the advocacy table staffed by our Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan field organizer Megan Z.; and the Ask Me Anything booth, staffed by Cherry St. Health Center NPs Karen G. and Amy K. Amy and Karen said teens were most interested in learning about annual exams, various methods of birth control on display, and proper condom usage.

Friday, May 15, 2009

It's not too late to sign up for the Michigan Policy Summit happening tomorrow Saturday May 16th at Cobo Hall. We are expecting over a thousand progressives from Michigan to join together under one roof and talk about the issues affecting Michigan residents!!!

Please consider registering

Planned Parenthood staff and supporters will be there to talk more about the issues facing our organization.

We hope to see you all tomorrow.

Stay tuned for a de-brief of the event next week!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Change is happening and the clock is ticking.

On Saturday, May 16 progressive activists from across Michigan will gather for the third annual Michigan Policy Summit. Be a part of the change by signing up today.

At the Michigan Policy Summit, activists, policy experts and community leaders will join to share ideas, plans and campaigns to bring President Obama’s progressive change to Michigan and outline solutions to Michigan’s economy, jobs, health, labor organizing and our Great Lakes state environment.

Please join Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Michigan this Saturday at Cobo Hall, and be a part of change in the making! Registration begins at 8 a.m.; speakers and sessions begin at 9 a.m.

Sign up at today!

Online registration ends at the end of the day tomorrow (May 14th), otherwise onsite registration will be available on Saturday.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

PPAM at Michigan Policy Summit 3 Years Running

Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Michigan has been a sponsor of the Michigan Policy Summit since its inception three years ago. This year’s Summit, to be held at Cobo Hall in Detroit on May 16th, is titled “Investing in Michigan’s Future” and will focus on healthcare, clean energy, ending the foreclosure crisis, and jobs.

Since all of these issues affect PPAM staff, and our patients, we are excited to be there as part of the solution in these hard times. This Summit, a gathering of progressive organizers and activists, is not only a great way to network, gain support for our campaigns, and learn a lot, but it’s also a great way for Planned Parenthood to exhibit our skills. This year, we will be both tabling at the Organizational Showcase at the Summit and presenting a workshop on Pro-Choice Organizing. (Come by and say Hi to us!)

For more information and to register, please check out

Together, we will take up the change agenda here in Michigan that’s sweeping the nation.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Tides are Changing!

Here's a little update from Planned Parenthood Federation of America President, Cecile Richards:

If President Obama’s pro-women’s health agenda during his first 100 days is indicative of what we can expect during the next four years, we have much to look forward to! Since taking office, the president has shown his commitment to women’s health care on a wide range of issues: repealing the global gag rule, restating his commitment to protecting a woman’s right to choose, creating a White House Council on Women and Girls, expanding access to affordable birth control, and calling for evidence-based, medically accurate sex education. (Check out my Huffington Post blog on President Obama’s top 10 women’s health achievements during his first 100 days.) We’re grateful for President Obama’s leadership on health care and his commitment to reducing the number of unintended pregnancies. Here’s to making women’s health care a priority!

Also,the final member of President Obama’s Cabinet has been confirmed — and not a moment too soon! Governor Kathleen Sebelius’ confirmation as secretary of health and human services is an important victory for women and families who are struggling to afford quality health care. In the face of anti-choice opposition to her nomination, Planned Parenthood mobilized 37,712 activists, who e-mailed their senators with the message that Sebelius’ record and credentials make her an outstanding addition to the Cabinet.