Clubs host Roe vs. Wade event in Fort Lauderdale

Kelly Tyko

Clarice Pollock was 19 when she became pregnant. Abortion was illegal. But she didn’t think she had another choice.

“It was on a kitchen table, without anesthesia,” she said. “You don’t want to go through that, and you shouldn’t have to.”

Now 68, Pollock was just one of the women who shared her story on the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision. She spoke to a crowd of approximately 150 at a pro-choice demonstration at DDA Park on the southeast corner of Las Olas Boulevard and Andrews Avenue.

FAU student Serena Cruz was a key organizer of the event. Cruz, a self-described feminist, a Broward Student Government senator, a member of NOW (National Organization for Women), and a volunteer at Planned Parenthood, served as the event’s host.

“This has got to be the fight of our lives – for our lives,” Cruz said.

Rick Jarchow, who is the Student Government representative from Broward, said, “I think more young people should have come. … This is not a decision that should have been decided by a court.”

SG Broward Governor Gaston Garrido agreed.

“They always say young people don’t vote. But this is one thing that’s a problem that can really affect us.”

Carla Shulman of Planned Parenthood thought the turnout should have been bigger.

“I wish there was three people here sitting for each of you,” Shulman said. “Less than one percent of our services are abortions. We do offer more than you think.

“Everything we do is for choice. … Choice is something we’ve all been given and someone wants to take it away. This is unacceptable to us.”

Gail Tapscott echoed Shulman’s message about the crowd’s size.

“There are not enough of you out there that are. We have somewhere in the last 30 years lost our numbers and our outrage. I think it’s because we’ve all been lulled into a false sense of security,” said Tapscott, who’s a reverend in Fort Lauderdale.

“I think that the key to keeping the right to have an abortion is in as much jeopardy as all other civil rights.”

Besides the handful of Student Government representatives, it is estimated that about 25 people in attendance were under the age of 30.

This bothered senior citizen Judy Schwartz.

“It’s really more for them, than for people my age.”

Susan Purtic, a Broward NOW member, said that everyone should have attended the event. “It scares me to death that our reproductive rights are so close to being taken away. It should scare not just women, but every person.”

Pollock, who is president of the Florida NOW, started a chant with the crowd: “I won’t go back, we’ll never go back. … We won’t go back, we’ll never go back.”

“No matter what they say about the fetus or embryo, that is not the point,” Pollock said. Women will have abortions whether they are legal or not.

“It’s better if it’s safe and legal than going to a back alley.”