Defending Roe: The Canopy Club, Planned Parenthood organize benefit concert for abortion rights


Kylie Corral

Simone Perrins (left), senior in LAS, Alex Rios, senior in FAA, Adriana Nguyen, sophomore in ACES, Jamie Fabian, senior in LAS and Emma Darbro, freshman in LAS, attend the Defend Roe: Not If, But When event held at The Canopy Club on Thursday. The benefit was held in response to the Supreme Court draft with proceeds being donated to Midwest Access Coalition.

By Kylie Corral, Summer Managing Editor for Reporting

On Thursday, the University chapter of Planned Parenthood of Illinois Generation Action held Defend Roe: Not If, But When: a benefit concert at the Canopy Club. The event was organized as a response to a recent supreme court ruling draft that would overturn Roe v. Wade. 

All proceeds will be donated to an organization called Midwest Access Coalition, a group that funds people traveling to the midwest for reproductive healthcare.

Emma Darbro, Adriana Nguyen and Jamie Fabian are all students at the University and part of Planned Parenthood Generation Action. 

Nguyen, sophomore in ACES said the event was for their spring fundraiser.

“I think we have five bands coming out today to perform, and all of the money from the tickets, half of the money from drinks and all of the merch and raffles money goes to the Midwest Access Coalition, which helps people get money to travel to Illinois for abortions,” Nguyen said.

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Darbro, freshman in LAS, said the fundraiser was planned for a while. But coincidentally, it came at a significant time.

“I think it is important to note that Illinois will be the only state in the Midwest that will offer abortion services in the event that Roe is overturned, and there are all these trigger bands that go into effect,” Darbro said.

Darbro said she was excited to have students at such a large university support them in a state that will be the epicenter for reproductive health.

“I know as a student, especially, what you can do feels really finite,” Darbro said. “Like it’s a very hard pill to swallow that a lot of it is out of our hands, but I think we just have to use the voices that we have to amplify them and to amplify those around us because this is something that is not going to go away.”

Fabian, senior in LAS, said she hopes the Supreme Court pulls a miracle and keeps Roe in place.

“We had a big meeting after hearing the draft had been released about how disappointed and angered and frustrated we all were,” Fabian said. “So I think we’re just hoping that somehow we get to keep it, and Illinois doesn’t have to be the only state that offers abortion. It shouldn’t just be us.”

Natalie Crown, sophomore in FAA, said she discovered the benefit concert through a friend who was going to be playing in a band. She said that knowing the event was by Planned Parenthood was also a deciding factor in attending.

“I thought it was a great cause, and it was a strange and an unfortunate time for it,” Crown said. “So what better time to go out to an event to support it?”

Crown said that she was looking forward to the bands performing while also hoping that people become more aware that they should do something in light of recent events.

“It continues to be a strong part of our government and our laws sp that we can keep protecting women’s rights,” Crown said. 

Madison Angel, the downstate community engagement coordinator for Planned Parenthood of Illinois, was one of the event organizers. Although she isn’t a student, she works directly with students involved in Planned Parenthood at the University.

Angel said the event planning began when the organization was going over changes in Senate Bill eight of the Texas Legislature where an abortion ban was passed last year. 

She said the group knew more trigger laws might come, so they focused on supporting patients moving in and out of state.

“We just hope that the Supreme Court is smart this summer and reconsiders what we saw on the draft opinion,” Angel said. “We also hope to have this event again next year to just continue to provide support.”

Angel said that Planned Parent Generation Action has done amazing work. She was excited to see the performances of the bands at the hosted event. 

“We have a couple of seniors graduating this year but we’ll be back next semester with full force you know, strength ready to go.”


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