Twenty-one members of Vox: Voices for Planned Parenthood braved the rain yesterday to protest anti-choice legislation in the Virginia General Assembly.
Monday was designated a “day of action,” organized by Vox on the campuses of Virginia colleges and universities from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Approximately 140 students signed up to participate in the protests at the College of William and Mary, but due to rain yesterday afternoon, only a fraction attended.
“We were definitely expecting a bigger turnout,” Vox President Noelle Francois ’10 said.
“But because the rain has kind of discouraged people — it is kind of pouring — so it’s just the diehards out here and all of our signs are melting.”
The rain and poor attendance did not soften the resolve of the protestors. Members of Vox stood by the Crim Dell chanting slogans and brandishing signs.
“If it wasn’t worth the rain, then we wouldn’t be out here,” Claire Jackson ’13 said.
Among the bills protested was an amendment to HB 1108, which would shift funds raised by “Trust Women — Respect Choice” license plates from Planned Parenthood organizations to the Virginia Pregnant Women’s Support Fund, which does not offer medical services.
Francois said this was the first time the state of Virginia had worked to move finances away from the original recipient of license plate funds.
The bill was passed without the amendment by the Virginia state senate and with the amendment by the house.
“Right now what we’re waiting to see is how they’re going to reconcile that,” Francois said. “Obviously, they both have to vote on the same bill, so we’re trying to see which one is going to win out.”
Other bills protested by Vox members included HB 393, which would change the zoning regulations for Planned Parenthood clinics, and HB 986, which would make attempts to self-abort or induce a miscarriage by anyone other than a medical doctor a felony.
Chapters of Vox at Virginia Tech and Hollins University in Roanoke held similar protests.