Student Advocates for Sexual Health Awareness executive board members Elaine Louden, vice president, Isabella Niemeyer, secretary, Abby Nutter, treasurer, and Abby Rinderle, president, raised $800 at the comedy show Sept. 13. Credit: Courtesy of Abby Rinderle

A two-day extravaganza promoting sexual health awareness benefited Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio this past weekend. 

The Student Advocates for Sexual Health Awareness raised $800 for the reproductive health care nonprofit throughout their Repro Rights Weekend. The event followed Planned Parenthood’s August announcement to leave Title X to bypass a Trump administration rule that went into effect May 3, according to the Federal Register

Title X is the only federal grant program that helps provide family planning services and preventive health care to low-income or uninsured people, according to the Department of Health and Human Services’ website. The new rule prohibits Title X grantees from referring patients to abortion services in conjuction with family planning, according to the website.

According to its annual report, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio received $4.3 million from Title X in 2018, around 18 percent of its total revenue, but the organization said in an Aug. 19 press release that it was leaving Title X because of its commitment to “providing fact-based, compassionate and respectful health care.” 

A comedy show Friday featured various student comedy groups. Using reproductive rights-themed jokes, the comedy show raised $600 of the $800 raised through donations, Abby Rinderle, president of SASHA and fourth-year in public health, said. 

Rinderle said the show’s goal was to get donations of any amount to help support Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio.

“When Planned Parenthood’s funding was being taken away, I just wanted to do something for them,” Rinderle said. “Everyone was very giving. We had a suggested donation of $5, but we had people giving us $20 bills and not asking for change.” 

Madeleine Haas, president of Circular Reasoning and Backburner Sketch Comedy and a fourth-year in political science, said she wanted her comedy groups to be involved in the show because humor can act as a way to break down stereotypes concerning sexual health and reproductive health.

“It’s a great way to bring people together over a topic that we don’t usually get to talk about while having fun and raising money for a great cause,” Haas said.

The event went better than the group ever thought it would, and Planned Parenthood was very thankful for the effort that was put into the show, Rinderle said.

“Everyone was very enthusiastic; people were interactive with the comedians and genuinely enjoyed being there,” Rinderle said. “It is something that we will try to do again.”

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