Vagical Mystery Tour hits Atlanta
In the reproductive-rights space, Planned Parenthood has garnered a lot of attention lately, thanks to efforts by the White House and Republican lawmakers to strip the health care provider of federal funding. But independent women’s health providers are doing important work, too.
That’s part of the reason why the nonprofit organization Lady Parts Justice League (LPJL) — described on its website as “a coven of hilarious badass feminists who use humor and pop culture to expose the haters fighting against reproductive rights” — launched its Vagical Mystery Tour. Hitting 16 cities in eight weeks, the show, which makes a stop in Atlanta at Terminal West on June 2, is part entertainment and part education.
Comedians on the roster include Helen Hong (from “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me”), Ian Harvie (“Transparent”) and Gina Yashere (“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”), among others. As for the advocacy piece, at the end of each show, there will be a discussion featuring providers and activists, who will share how audience members can become more involved in local reproductive rights efforts, whether that’s signing up to escort women to a clinic or drawing more attention to the work these clinics are doing. For the Atlanta edition, LPJL has partnered with Feminist Women’s Health Center and Atlanta’s Women’s Center.
The event will be hosted by Lady Parts Justice League founder Lizz Winstead (co-creator and former head writer of “The Daily Show”). She says they chose the cities on their tour partly because of states and lawmakers who have made headlines for being hostile toward abortion access. She specifically points out state Rep. Terry England, who in 2012 compared women seeking abortions for a fetus that may not survive to farm animals.
“The fight for reproductive rights is happening on so many fronts,” Winstead says. “I think the biggest fight is that most of these [abortion-restricting] laws that we’re seeing are happening in state legislatures across the country. So the greatest way we knew to make a difference is for people to go to our show and then talk with the experts in the field who are being impacted by these state laws. There, they can learn how to fight [these laws] in their states.”