“We’re playing with the convention of the female homemaker making cookies … but in a way that is modern and progressive,” says Nayda Freire Hutson, owner of Renzo and Faculty Lounge. “There are a lot of men involved, too — it’s a widespread effort … it’s been really nice to see that people are willing to publicly put their name to it. It’s been really very gratifying.”

This Sun. July 21 at Restaurant Tu from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Renzo, along with nearly 40 other local businesses, from restaurants to wine bars to yoga studios, will come together for a bake sale raising money for Planned Parenthood’s Charleston branch.
[image-1]Charleston’s Planned Parenthood community organizer Emily Walter says that PP will be onsite during the bake sale, “talking about our efforts and resources in regards to the health center … I’ll be speaking about what we do at the center, where we are in S.C., and what we’re facing now and in 2020.”

In the wake of recent abortion restrictions — as of this June nine states have passed early abortion bans, though none are in effect yet — the sale is timely as ever.

NPR reported yesterday that Planned Parenthood has halted the use of Title X federal funding, the family planning program that serves about 4 million women annually and provides $260 million a year in grants to clinics. Title X funding does not pay for abortions.

The decision comes after a ruling last month that the administration’s new policy, Protect Life Rule, which was announced in March, can be implemented nationwide. The policy, which critics have referred to as a “domestic gag rule,” blocks clinics who offer abortion — or even discuss it — from receiving Title X funding from the Department of Health and Human Resources. That means no funding for all the other services they offer, as Title X, again, does not pay for abortions.

PP says it will dip into emergency funds to continue providing care. Now, more than ever, the nonprofit needs support, and there’s no better way than putting your money where your mouth is.

“The barrier to entry being $5 for the community to enter was really important for us,” says Babas on Cannon owner Marie Stitt. “That is definitely something we took away from the New York bake sale too, as many people who wanted to come and not have to pay for an entire wine dinner — they feel like they’re contributing to this cause by buying a cookie, which is really cool.”

Though times may feel dire, the bake sale will be light-hearted and cheeky — is there anything more subversive than buying and selling pastries to raise money for women’s fundamental rights? We’re excited about Jackrabbit Filly’s Japanese curry puffs, Basic Kitchen’s savory strata with roasted tomatoes, Mefli’s cannoli cupcakes.

“I think it also asks the restaurant community to be kind of creative and it’s just something fun and not terribly difficult for restaurants or food makers in town to be able to whip something up,” says Stitt. “People are able to get excited about it.”

In addition to the more than two dozen restaurants participating, there will also be non-bakers donating items to a raffle. Raffle participants include Graft, J. Stark, Motherland Essentials, Fuzzco, Wine & Co., The Beacon, Mac & Murphy, Candy Shop Vintage, Tapio, Flowership, Artist & Craftsman, and Mission Yoga.

“It’s really important for us to engage folks in our network and communities and really make sure people are up to date,” says Walter. “Events like this, when it’s people and the community and businesses, we invite folks who are kind of on the edge to learn what we do, what Planned Parenthood does.” And, though in South Carolina PP does not receive Title X funding, the Charleston branch states that “We strongly condemn the Domestic Gag Rule and would never provide false information to our patients. We all deserve access to safe, comprehensive, compassionate sexual and reproductive healthcare. “

Stitt and Hudson hope they sell out of all their baked goods — come on out y’all! — but if there are any items leftover, they will all be donated to One80 Place.