VOX forum addresses abortion through creative fiction performance

Geneseo Voices For Planned Parenthood put on a forum regarding abortion from Friday Oct. 2–Sunday Oct. 4. Its purpose was to bring awareness to the topic of abortion and to draw attention to the fact that each individual’s experience with abortion is different and has unique circumstances.

VOX obtained the idea from Planned Parenthood itself and this forum is something that is open to all colleges. The interesting thing about this forum is that it is entirely based on creative writing, as opposed to something like “The Vagina Monologues,” which is based on actual women and their stories.

Five female actresses played all of the roles, including the male ones. Junior VOX president and women’s studies representative Stephanie Gerspacher would speak from the side when needed to narrate. As many actresses as necessary would read the parts and while some scenes involved multiple people, others were solo acts.

While scenes were being performed, the actresses would sit or stand depending on whether they were speaking or not. This method was powerful because when one person was standing alone, it created an atmosphere of loneliness and nervousness, but together the atmosphere changed to one of unity and strength.

The audience was almost entirely female—potentially because, socially, this is a “women’s issue” or because men just didn’t hear about it. Either way, it is important that both sexes are knowledgeable about this topic. “The message is not something that we’re ever going to be done with,” VOX advisor and English professor Melanie Blood said.

It is always important to be aware of situations like unplanned pregnancy and know where and how to get help for it. Blood also added that, “The topic of Planned Parenthood and the fact that it does support abortion is under such scrutiny right now that is incredibly important to talk about.”

After the performance, there was a discussion period during which other actresses—who had previously been sitting in the audience—had the audience guess certain statistics about abortion. There were multiple such as, “What percentage of people who receive abortions in the U.S. report having religious affiliations?”

This event also included a response competition. Those responses could be submitted in written or design form. Overall, this production was very informative and is something that Blood and many others believe should be put on again.

“College is a major time when women have the possibility of encountering an unwanted pregnancy. [The actresses] did a really nice job,” Blood said. “This is not a simple issue.”