Washington, DC- Today, Cecile Richards joined over 720 Planned Parenthood supporters, patients, lawmakers and volunteers to speak out against Paul Ryan’s plan to block thousands of Wisconsinites from essential preventive health care. This rally followed a patient roundtable at the Kenosha Planned Parenthood health center where Cecile Richards met with patients and a provider from Paul Ryan’s district who addressed how devastating it would be in their community if patients were no longer able to receive care at Planned Parenthood.
Today’s rally in Wisconsin follows hundreds of events across the country where Planned Parenthood supporters stormed town halls, showed up at district offices and even convened their own town halls to tell politicians that they will not stand for attacks on access to care at Planned Parenthood.
WISCONSIN - In Paul Ryan’s district alone, Planned Parenthood provides care for 6,000 patients every year, and many of those patients were fighting back today. Over 720 supporters from across the state rallied in Wisconsin against attacks on their health care.
WATCH: The manger at the Planned Parenthood Health Center in Kenosha speaks out about the patients who would have nowhere else to go and end up neglecting their basic health care needs if the center were closed.
WATCH: Cecile Richards talks about the devastating effects of defunding Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin.
Over 720 supporters from across Wisconsin showed up rally against attacks on health care after the patient roundtable.
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Many of those who would be impacted already face disproportionate barriers in accessing health care. If Planned Parenthood’s patients can no longer go to them for birth control or cancer screenings, many of them would have no other health care provider to turn to.
The majority of the counties where Planned Parenthood has health centers, there is a shortage of medical providers and many health clinics serving the underserved communities—including my own—are not equipped to provide comprehensive reproductive health care. Planned Parenthood is an essential and trusted community health partner that we depend on.
The rally in Wisconsin follows hundreds of events across the country where Planned Parenthood supporters showed up to fight back against attacks on their health care.
ARIZONA - Dozens of Planned Parenthood supporters crammed into a southern Arizona church to share their stories and confront Rep. McSally about attacks on access to care at Planned Parenthood.
NORTH DAKOTA - Representative Kevin Cramer from North Dakota was asked why he is supporting legislation that would block North Dakotans from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers and is educated by a Planned Parenthood patient on the care provided in North Dakota
CALIFORNIA - Dozens of Planned Parenthood patients and supporters share their stories with Rep. McClintock at a packed town hall.
Julie Orth of Sonora, said that the reason she hasn’t needed an abortion is because she had access to Planned Parenthood.
Shirley Campbell warned the congressman that, “I, and millions of women in this country, will not be pushed back, sir.”
GEORGIA - So many people showed up to Rep. Buddy Carter’s town hall that “hundreds crowded into the front lobby of the Armstrong Center, some carrying signs and wearing t-shirts for a number of causes from Planned Parenthood supporters to supporters of the Affordable Care Act.”
NEVADA - In Nevada, hundreds of angry protesters lined the streets outside of a private luncheon Senator Heller held in lieu of an open town hall, demanding he actually speak with the people he is supposed to be representing.
PENNSYLVANIA - Senator Pat Toomey staunchly refuses to hold a town hall in Pennsylvania, so his constituents decided to hold one even if he didn’t bother to show up. Shouts of “What do we want? Health care! When do we want it? Now!” rang through the crowd. Constituents took turns asking questions and sharing stories with an empty suit hung up at the front of the auditorium where Sen. Toomey would have stood... if he had shown up.
Planned Parenthood supporters also went directly to Senator Toomey’s Office to share their concerns. According to the Patriot News, “Leslie Hall, organizer of the Harrisburg event, said Planned Parenthood supporters have attempted to call and email the senator about plans to defund the organization. Since their calls and emails have gone unreturned, they decided to try to meet with the senator themselves.”
WEST VIRGINIA -- In West Virginia, Rep. Jenkins’ constituents rallied out front of his office in support of Planned Parenthood and demanded their representative face his constituents who are furious at his attacks on health care.
LOUISIANA - In Louisiana, hundreds of protesters, many in pink, surrounded Sen. Cassidy’s town hall and demanded he stop attacking the health care that millions of people rely on.
NEW JERSEY - In New Jersey, nearly a thousand people packed inside an auditorium and demanded Representative Lance protect the ACA and Planned Parenthood. Rep. Lance mischaracterized how health care funding works as he stumbled to defend blocking 2.5 million patients from receiving life saving care, and his constituents were not letting him get away with it.
FLORIDA - In Florida, crowds gathered outside of Representative Mast’s office in support of Planned Parenthood to show the new politician that his constituents won't be silent as their health care is attacked. Students at Florida International University also held a rally on campus to tell Congress how devastating it would be for their health if they could no longer turn to Planned Parenthood.