This August, Planned Parenthood withdrew from the federal funding program, known as Title X, to avoid a new policy that forbids referrals to doctors who can perform abortions. This year alone, nine states have passed some of the country’s strictest anti-abortion laws to date, with Alabama outlawing the procedure in almost all cases and Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, and Ohio passing restrictive “heartbeat” bills.
“I have been passionate about publicly endorsing women’s rights to reproductive health and sexual wellness since the start of my career,” Cold Beaches singer/songwriter, Sophia Nadia, told AudioFemme.
In an effort to raise funding and awareness about the healthcare organization, Cold Beaches and singer Emily Blue have organized a Planned Parenthood Benefit Tour, which kicks off Tuesday in Virginia.
The Chicago-based artists will perform at venues on the East Coast and in Eastern Canada, hand out informational brochures, and help to inform women about their healthcare options moving forward, as well as stop by local women’s health clinics to speak with staff and women about how Planned Parenthood’s defunding will affect them.
“When Trump got elected in the fall of 2016, I organized and played six benefit concerts for PPVA. I had the idea to interview representatives of local Planned Parenthoods in the states I tour,” says Nadia. “I want readers and listeners to see how different states face different political climates/fiscal obstacles so they can learn how to help those specific communities.”
“As a woman of color in a white male-dominated industry, promoting the significance of women’s health centers has grown to be an imperative part of my identity in the music scene,” Nadia continues. “Having firsthand witnessed victims of sexual violence being refused proper healthcare and seeing the societal pressures placed on womxn to have children, I am determined to do whatever I can to make a change.”
The tour, which spans from Nov. 19th through the 25th, will offer limited-edition merchandise, with 40% of the proceeds donated to Planned Parenthood. The artists will also collect donations for the organization at each tour stop.
“I believe strongly in the connection between art and activism. As artists, we have something rare, which is a public platform and listening ears,” says Emily Blue. “My personal goal with interviewing others is to lift their voices and spread awareness on some vital women’s issues. We are also using this tour to raise money for Planned Parenthood, an organization that has always helped me with my health and reproductive needs. I can’t wait to take this to the road, meet new people, and learn something along the way!”
Cold Beaches & Emily Blue Planned Parenthood Benefit Tour Dates:
11/19 – Richmond, VA @ Gallery 5 (All Ages/ $10)
11/20 – New York, NY @ Bowery Electric (21+/ $12)
11/22 – Montreal, Quebec: House show/ La Plante with The Leanover (All Ages / $10)
11/23 – Ottawa, Ontario @ Black Squirrel Books (All Ages/ $12)
11/24 – Toronto, Ontario @ Baby G (19+ / $10)
11/25 – Detroit, Michigan @ PJ’s Lager House (All Ages /$10)