Protesters Denounce Akin for Stance on Women's Health
Voters lined a Kirkwood street Monday afternoon to express their distate for the U.S. Senate candidate and local representative.
From a birth control costume to a sign that read "Voting Vagina," it was pretty clear why participants of a voters' rally outside a Todd Akin fundraiser thought the U.S. Senate candidate was the wrong man for the job.
"It's disgusting we have a congressman who doesn't understand science," said LaDonna Appelbaum, of Creve Couer. "We need women making decisions for women, not men."
Many protesters wore pink Planned Parenthood T-shirts. The St. Louis chapter of Advocates of Planned Parenthood mobilized supporters of the organization through an email listserve.
"We're here because we don't think (Akin) is right for Missouri," said Alison Gee, Vice-President of Public Policy for Advocates of Planned Parenthood-St. Louis Region (PPSLR).
Gee said Akin's comment on Fox 2 that referenced "legitimate rape" was not specifically the reason for the presence of PPSLR at the protest. Instead, it was Akin's record on women's health issues as a whole.
"His record stands for itself," she said.
The voter rally drew men who were equally concerned about Akin's stance on reproductive rights and women's health issues.
"He's threatening the rights of half of Americans," said Scott Callaghan, of Kirkwood. "It's our duty to stand up for a group even if you're not affected."
Although women's health was the primary concern of protesters, it was not the only issue that brought voters to South Kirkwood Road Monday.
David Meinell, of St. Charles, and Judith Parker, of Des Peres, said they did not support Akin's opposition to the Affordable Health Care for America Act and feared retired residents would suffer if Akin was elected.
Patricia Schuba, of West Chesterfield, disagrees with Akin on environmental issues. "It's possible to have great jobs and a clean environment," she said.
As motorists drove by the demonstration, some gave encouraging honks that met with cheers from protesters. The group planned to stay at the strip of South Kirkwood Road until the fundraising event was underway.