What I Learned from People Marching Outside of Planned Parenthood…


Amara Neitzke

It’s not unusual to see protestors or supporters outside of Planned Parenthood. After cruising by them countless times in my daily life, I finally decided to stop and speak to people from each side. I asked them both the same two questions, “Why are you here?” and “What is your goal?”

Although the answers I received weren’t a surprise, it was refreshing to hear calm feedback. I felt as though everyone, whether they were protesting or supporting Planned Parenthood, was there with pure intentions. Those who were standing in support stayed within their space, as did those who were protesting; exactly how they should be behaving, since everyone is guaranteed “the right of the people peaceably to assemble…” Due to their separation, however, I learned that very seldom do discussions or debates take place between people from opposing sides.

But they should.  

Since the 2016 election, people have so strongly identified themselves by their political views. We have drastically divided our nation based on politics. Both sides are guilty of demonizing the other, and being headstrong about issues without trying to understand where the opposing side is coming from. Too often do people only focus on what they want when it comes to a political issue, rather than trying to find common ground. There is always common ground.

As of now, our nation needs to drop the superfluous labels of Democrat and Republican. What we actually should be focusing on is figuring out how to compromise. The issues in our nation have become malignant tumors that won’t be cured by one side getting their way, and the others not. Obviously, you can’t please everyone; however, people need to be willing to accommodate the other side in order to find a beneficial solution for the majority.

The United States has turned politics into a ruthless game of money equating to power, and everyone is on their own. If we strip back both side’s “agendas” and look at the core values and motives we have the textbook definition of politics– “the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power.” Yes, we have established that both parties want to achieve power, but why? We want to achieve power to improve the country but more importantly, to improve the lives of the citizens of that country. And that is what we have lost.

Truthfully, if either side’s goal is anything but attempting to improve the lives of the people in their country, then somewhere along the lines there are false motives.

As a nation, we will only improve if we begin to value others’ opinions, and that starts with listening to opposing opinions. We need to value EVERYONE. We need to stop allowing hate crimes. We need to go forward with the concept of fairness. Fair doesn’t mean everyone gets the same thing, it means everyone gets what they, as people, deserve. Lastly, we need to go forward with kindness. Humanity as a whole has lost the idea of kindness and belittled the power it holds. Kindness is priceless and free. It is something that everyone is capable of showing. Let’s pass it on.