Posted by: Amy – Jan 13, 2017
Richmond is considered one of the most tattooed cities in the United States. The city is also known for its activism, becoming a strong voice for conservation, LGBTQ rights, and reproductive health. Local tattoo shop Black Rabbit Tattoo has decided to combine activism with their art for a special fundraiser this weekend.
The Belmont Avenue shop is hosting a special event, a Planned Parenthood Flash Tattoo Benefit. For a minimum of $20 dollars, you’ll walk away with a new tattoo and 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to Planned Parenthood.
Kim Wall, the owner and head artist of Black Rabbit Tattoo, said that she wanted to give back to an organization that has given so much to the community.
“The current state of affairs in this country scares and worries me,” she said. “I’ve been to Planned Parenthood, everyone here has been to Planned Parenthood. I just think it’s important to support the things that you utilize.”
Planned Parenthood has often been the targets of attacks, both in a political and a violent sense. While politicians attack its abortion services through TRAP laws and other restrictive legislation, Planned Parenthood is often the focus of anti-abortion violence and domestic terrorism, such as the 2015 attack on the Colorado Springs health facility that resulted in the deaths of three people.
In this latest election cycle, there was a rallying cry among anti-choice conservatives to defund the healthcare provider, which provides low-cost healthcare for more than 4.5 million people every year.
Providing STD testing and treatment, mammograms, and contraception at more than 700 affiliated health centers, Planned Parenthood is one of the largest providers of healthcare services for women, men, and young people in the nation.
In a 2015 CNN article, Planned Parenthood stated that defunding the organization, which received $500 million in federal funding, none of which is spent on abortion services, would prevent services for 2.7 million women.
Planned Parenthood’s facility in Richmond is located on Hamilton Street, and provides everything from birth control, general healthcare, abortion services, HIV testing, breast exams, and cervical cancer screenings.
Jessi Coble, Community Organizer for Planned Parenthood Advocates for Virginia, will be on-site to provide information regarding Planned Parenthood services, as well as flyers, stickers, condoms, and other items.
“Black Rabbit did this all on their own! Their idea. Their time. Their follow through,” she said. “I think they’re awesome for doing this and the community is amazing in supporting us.”
The Black Rabbit Tattoo event has a $20 minimum donation, which gets you one of the 11 designs on the flyer above, but people can donate as much as they would like to the healthcare provider.
Wall is already predicting a large turnout, based on the incredibly positive responses she received from her client base and from people in the community. Though, there’s already been at least one negative review left regarding her tattoo shop.
“She’s never been to the shop, she’s never been tattooed,” she said. “But, she’s a church goer and she left a one star review, which can impact our business.”
But, when asked about potential backlash and protesters, Wall insisted that the cause was too important to let such things get in the way.
“We want to do something that could bring together the community and people who do care about Planned Parenthood,” Wall said. “We want to give back as much as we can.”
The Planned Parenthood Tattoo Flash Benefit will take place this Saturday, January 14th, at Black Rabbit Tattoo at 17 N. Belmont Ave. Four artists will be tattooing strictly between the hours of 1pm-8pm and there will be no alternations to the above designs.
Words by Ren