Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio hosted their ‘Peace, Love, and Protest’ event at Stuart’s Saturday

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NELSONVILLE, Ohio (WOUB) – Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and the Athens community hosted an event supporting reproductive rights at Stuart’s Opera House Saturday.

“The supporters in Athens who are friends of Planned Parenthood, they are supporters of reproductive health and reproductive rights,” said Iris Harvey, the CEO and president of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio.

Athens community members have come together for over 30 years to support Planned Parenthood. This year, Peace, Love and Protest was the theme of the event.

“There are issues happening in our country where we seem to not be able to come together and have conversation, and to think about how collectively we should accomplish the things that people need,” Harvey said. “…and so usually in times of that, there’s the peace, there’s the love, and there’s the protest.”

Guests enjoyed champagne and snacks, participated in raffles, and listened to speakers thanking community members for their involvement. Harvey said the purpose of the event is to allow space for people to get to know each other, support each other, and share their concerns and experiences.

“This is a group of community people who are involved. It’s both individuals as well as businesses, and they’re all here to say, ‘we’re Athens, this is our health center’,” Harvey said. “The work that’s being done is to benefit the people who live here.”

An image of a table at the 'Peace, Love, and Protest' event hosted by Stuart's.
An image of a table at the ‘Peace, Love, and Protest’ event hosted by Stuart’s Opera House. [Payton Szymczak I WOUB]
This is the first time the event has happened in person since 2018. The community has been meeting virtually for the past few years. Kristin Slemmer, the chair of the Athens Community Leadership Council, said she was excited to see everyone together again and not over a screen.

“We also have people speaking about the ballot initiative right now,” Slemmer said. “…and to get the abortion access on the ballot.”

Slemmer said she always walks away from these events feeling energized to support Planned Parenthood. She emphasized that the money donated provides for patients’ services.

“So those people then know that money is going directly to fund someone’s service, someone’s health care, and that is such an amazingly powerful thing,” Slemmer said. “…to be able to know that your impact is directly going to help someone receive the care that they need.”

Slemmer said the event’s theme came at the right time.

“It is a time to come together, to talk about how we can work with our communities and support our communities,” Slemmer said. “…but also to make our voices heard, that you know, rolling back Roe v. Wade is not the way that our country needs to go.”

For more information about Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, visit