Over 75 Events Over the Weekend Held Politicians Accountable
WASHINGTON D.C. -- Today, on the first day of May recess, House Members brace for backlash from passing the worst bill for women’s health in a generation. Members of the House of Representatives continue to be inundated with calls and over the weekend saw dozens of grassroots protests at their offices -- all in response to their vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and “defund” Planned Parenthood. The more than 75 events scheduled by Planned Parenthood supporters to hold their Representatives accountable were held, in partnership, with Organizing for Action, MoveOn.org, and Center for American Progress Action Fund.
Quote from Kelley Robinson, National Organizing Director, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
People are outraged that a group of mostly white, mostly male politicians just voted to ‘defund’ Planned Parenthood, and strip health insurance from 24 million Americans. This is the worst bill for women’s health in a generation. But while those DC politicians were drinking beer at the White House, celebrating millions of people losing their health care, we were organizing. We will make sure every member of Congress hears our voices -- as women, people of color, immigrants, and as people of faith -- and knows that we will not stand for attacks on Planned Parenthood.
These actions come after months of unprecedented outpouring of organizing, activism, and support for Planned Parenthood and against attacks on the beloved health care provider. Members of Congress have already faced broad grassroots opposition in their home districts, at Town Halls and rallies outside their offices, because of their attempts to defund Planned Parenthood. Watch a video with some of the highlights, “100 Days of Resistance” here.
Not only is “defunding” Planned Parenthood incredibly unpopular, but it’s also dangerous. If enacted, prohibiting individuals from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers would have a devastating impact on the 2.5 million people who rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for essential health services.
In March, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the “defund” Planned Parenthood provision would result in reduced access to care for patients who live in areas where Planned Parenthood is the only health care option and where Planned Parenthood serves low-income populations. More than half of Planned Parenthood health centers are in health professional shortage areas, rural or medically underserved areas. Experts have repeatedly said that other providers cannot absorb Planned Parenthood’s patients.
In Ohio, a crowd of Planned Parenthood supporters showed up in downtown Columbus to send a message to lawmakers that the health care plan is the worst piece of legislation for women in a generation. This bill would block over 30,000 Ohioans from accessing birth control and cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood.
On Thursday, almost immediately after the vote, people gathered in front of Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25)’s office to protest his vote. Dozens of protesters carried signs and marched in front of Knight’s office chanting “Knight! Knight! We’re not going to go without a fight!”
Over 50 Planned Parenthood supporters showed up at Rep. Susan Brooks (IN-05)’s office in Carmel, IN when they opened at 8:30 a.m. The constituents shared their Planned Parenthood stories and expressing their concerns to district staff.
In Evansville, IN, Planned Parenthood supporters turned out at Rep. Larry Buschon (IN-05)’s office to ask where they will go now for their care. Supporters were in place at 8:30am sharp when they opened the offices.
In Kinderhook NY, Planned Parenthood supporters protested outside Rep. John Faso’s office in Kinderhook. More than 45 supporters came out in the pouring rain to let Rep. Faso know that they were outraged by his vote. One young mother shared how she was a patient at Planned Parenthood before deciding to get pregnant and was grateful Planned Parenthood was there for her. Another young woman, who is a local farmer in this rural community, shared how important health coverage was to her and her fellow farmers.
In Corning, NY, 30 constituents showed up at Rep. Tom Reed (NY-23)’s office to express their concerns with the bill.
In Kingston, NY, nearly 200 people gathered at Congressman Faso’s Kingston office (NY-19) in the pouring rain, making it the largest demonstration at Faso’s Kingston office. This demonstration followed Faso facing massive backlash on Twitter for his vote.
Over a dozen constituents showed up at Rep. Barbara Comstock (VA-10)’s office in Sterling, VA at 11 a.m. Barbara Comstock’s constituents have been calling on her again and again to hold a town hall and take a public stand on the issues that matter to them.
Over 200 people rallied outside of Sen. Roy Blunt’s (MO) St. Louis office. They chanted, waved signs, and let Sen. Blunt know that Missourians want access to health care and love Planned Parenthood.
In Springfield Missouri, over 45 people turned out to Rep. Long’s office to show their outrage about Long’s vote to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal the ACA. Folks who turned out included families with loved ones who have pre-existing conditions and Planned Parenthood patients concerned about attacks on access to care.