Thousands at Nationwide Rallies Call to Defund Planned Parenthood

People gathered at 228 Planned Parenthood facilities in 45 states to protest federal funding of the nation's largest abortion provider.

By Liberty McArtor Published on February 13, 2017

George Fuchs stood outside the Planned Parenthood facility in Plano, Texas on Saturday, a rosary dangling from one hand. As cars whizzed by on the busy exit ramp just feet away, some honked or shot a thumbs up at his sign: “Pray to end abortion.”

For Fuchs, it was just another Saturday.

“I believe abortion is killing a human life,” he said. So with a peaceful smile, he stands every weekend on the green that divides Highway 75 from the Planned Parenthood facility.

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George Fuchs, a regular protester at Planned Parenthood’s Plano, Texas location, participates in the nationwide rally calling for Planned Parenthood’s defunding on Saturday, February 11, 2017.

 So does Richard Broussard. “Somebody’s got to protect them,” he said of the unborn.

David Yu isn’t a regular at the Plano facility, but says he’s come to the location to protest 10 or 20 times.

“Life is a God-given gift to humanity,” he said.

Nationwide Rallies to Defund Planned Parenthood Bring “Really Great Turnout”

Fuchs, Broussard and Yu were three of approximately 30 fellow protesters at Plano’s Planned Parenthood facility on Saturday. But they were joined by thousands nationwide.

At 228 rallies in 45 states, pro-life demonstrators stood outside Planned Parenthood facilities on February 11 to protest federal funding of the nation’s largest abortion provider. The rallies were coordinated by #ProtestPP, a coalition of pro-life organizations.

As of Monday morning, rallies were still being assessed and headcounts conducted, Eric Scheidler, national organizer of #ProtestPP and executive director for Pro-Life Action League told The Stream.

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Richard Broussard and others gather outside Planned Parenthood’s Plano, Texas facility on February 11, 2017.

At the time, Scheidler told The Stream, just 150 rallies had been assessed, totaling over 12,000 participants.

“We’re thrilled with how things went on Saturday,” Scheidler said. In addition to a “really great turnout,” there was “substantial media coverage,” and fewer counter-protests than had been expected.

Exposing the Lies

As The Stream reported last week, Planned Parenthood receives around $500 million in federal funds every year.

While the Hyde Amendment prohibits that money from directly funding abortions, “this money allows them to keep their lights on,” Scheidler said.

Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards has attempted to counter congressional defunding efforts by touting the importance of the organization’s other services, such as mammograms, pap smears, and even suggesting significant prenatal care.

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David Yu protests outside a Planned Parenthood facility in Plano, Texas on February 11, 2017.

In reality, the number of non-abortive services offered by Planned Parenthood compared to abortion is minuscule. Undercover videos recently revealed that many facilities offer no prenatal care and refuse to use ultrasound machines for any purpose other than performing abortions.

While the organization claims it is essential for poor families, it offers no pediatric care, Scheidler said, adding that it does, however, perform 34 percent of the nation’s abortions.

#ProtestPP is calling for the federal funds currently feeding Planned Parenthood to be reallocated to “comprehensive clinics,” which “outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities 20 to one nationwide and provide far more services,” Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a press release last week. Susan B. Anthony List was a co-sponsor of Saturday’s rallies.

What’s Next?

Saturday’s rallies fostered a conversation about defunding Planned Parenthood β€” a conversation that many picked up on. But how is that conversation resonating in Congress? That’s the next question for #ProtestPP, according to Scheidler.

Whether it’s coordinating more rallies or visiting representatives in office, “everything’s on the table” when it comes to ensuring that campaign promises to defund Planned Parenthood will be kept, he said.

Meanwhile, Yu had big hopes for the outcome of the nationwide rallies. “I hope the culture will change to value life,” he said.

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