Washington D.C.- This coming Saturday, anti-abortion activists planned for a “protest Planned Parenthood” day. Instead, thousands of Planned Parenthood supporters, patients, activists, and volunteers are joining over 150 events across the country to rally in support for the nonprofit health care provider.
As we saw last night, anti-women's health lawmakers are getting overwhelmed by Planned Parenthood supporters at town halls, even in places like Utah and Tennessee, and this is just a preview of what we’ll see this weekend and when Congress is home for recess.
Across the country, over 150 grassroots events are being self-organized for tomorrow, and rallies are projected to reach thousands upon thousands of supporters, including patients and lawmakers.
In Colorado, a passionate activist organized a small rally outside of Senator Gardner’s office that is now preparing for over 3,600 confirmed attendees and thousands more interested activists. In Maine, lawmakers, patients, and community volunteers are joining together in a 1,000 person rally outside of city hall, followed by a 500 person activist training. In Louisiana, 3,700 supporters are rallying in front of the New Orleans’ city hall, and 3,000 more are planning to rally in California. In Illinois, over 1,200 people are planning to attend a supporter rally initially expected to only include a few friends. In New Jersey, over 100 individual Valentine’s Day house parties are preparing to host 1,500 supporters who plan to write letters to their Members of Congress.
Other grassroots events include patients speaking out about their stories, sex trivia, advocates writing letters to representatives, hosting documentary screenings, holding poetry readings, and rallying in support of quality health care.
Quote from Kelley Robinson, Deputy National Organizing Director, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
All across the country, Planned Parenthood supporters are taking it upon themselves to organize in their communities on their own. Support for Planned Parenthood is on full display as thousands of activists are organizing over 150 events from coast to coast. Saturday, and every day, Planned Parenthood advocates and activists show that they refuse to be intimidated and they won’t back down.
Last month, a record number of people flocked to Washington, DC, and organized events in all 50 states and across the globe to show their support for women’s rights and health care. Since then, momentum has only continued to build. In Iowa, hundreds flooded the capitol to protest a “defunding” bill that could block access to care at Planned Parenthood for over 30,000 patients. In Utah, over 5,000 people marched to the Utah State Capitol building on the first day of the Utah State Legislative session in a rally organized by Utah Women Unite.
The American people do not want and did not vote to see their health care stripped away. Nineteen polls have shown overwhelmingly that Americans support Planned Parenthood. And even 50% of Trump’s own supporters do not want to see Planned Parenthood “defunded.”
The term “defunding” Planned Parenthood is a misnomer. There is no blank check that Planned Parenthood gets from the federal government, and it’s not in the federal budget. Instead, the legislation would prevent millions of people who rely on Medicaid from accessing their health care provider of choice. This policy also has nothing to do with abortion -- it instead cuts women off from cancer screenings, birth control, and STI testing.