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Speaker and staff refused to meet with volunteers or accept thousands of petitions

Washington, DC –– Today, 70 Planned Parenthood Action Fund supporters rallied outside Speaker Paul Ryan’s Capitol Hill office to hand deliver 86,739 signed #IStandWithPP petitions. The petitions came one day after Speaker Ryan stated that Republican leaders in Congress would include a provision to defund Planned Parenthood in the bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Planned Parenthood health centers serve 2.5 million patients across the country every year and provide preventive services like cancer screenings, birth control, STI testing, and HIV testing.  Speaker Ryan’s defunding proposal -- announced a day after he met with Vice president-elect Mike Pence, who has long been obsessed with ending care at Planned Parenthood -- would block millions of low-income people from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers. Defunding Planned Parenthood will have a disproportionate impact on communities that historically face systemic barriers to care –– people of color, people living in rural areas, and people with low incomes.

READ: The Urgent Need for Planned Parenthood Health Centers

Wearing pink, Planned Parenthood supporters and advocates from Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia joined together in front of Speaker Ryan’s office in the Longworth House Office Building. Speaker Ryan and his staff refused to meet with group, and refused accept the 86,739 petitions from supporters around the country. The group delivered the petitions to Representative Gwen Moore, a long-time and passionate champion of women’s reproductive health.

Statement from Erin Carhart, Manager, Youth Organizing, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

"Paul Ryan may have locked his doors, but he can't drown out our voices. So far, 90,000 people have sent the message that they do not want to see Planned Parenthood defunded, and more people are signing on every day. People are already worried they'll lose their health care, that they'll lose their birth control, and now Paul Ryan is trying to take away Planned Parenthood. Millions of women, men and young people, nearly half of whom are people of color, rely on Planned Parenthood for reproductive health care –– including nearly 60,000 in Wisconsin. If Paul Ryan is going to take away our health care -- and the care of millions of people -- the least he can do is meet us face to face."

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