ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Thousands of demonstrators faced off Saturday in St. Paul to show their support and opposition for Planned Parenthood.
Opponents want the federal government to stop providing funding to the organization. Supporters want to see the federal funding continue.
“I don’t believe that we should be funding Planned Parenthood with our tax dollars,” said anti-abortion protester Georgine Koessl.
Abortion opponents joined a nationwide effort termed “ProtestPP,” calling for an end to the organization’s federal funding.
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said 200 rallies were planned around the country to send a message to their elected officials
“President Trump, when he was running for election, made a very specific promise, in writing, to the pro-life movement that he would defund the nation’s largest abortion industry, Planned Parenthood,” Hawkins said.
Every voice of opposition to Planned Parenthood was met with voices of support at a competing demonstration just feet away.
“I support keeping our rights and Trump is going to take them from us,” said Planned Parenthood supporter Corina Paulson.
The issue is not just about abortion rights for supporters of the reproductive health service organization; it is about overall accessibility to health care.
“If they take away funding, women won’t be able to get health care who maybe can’t afford to get, you know, pap smears and … pregnancy tests … cancer screenings,” Paulson said.
The CEO of Planned Parenthood says the organization serves 64,000 patients in Minnesota.
“I want to be here to support Planned Parenthood because it promotes reproductive health and safe sex for both men and women,” said supporter John Langteau.
St. Paul police estimate 6,000 people joined the protest, with the vast majority of those in attendance in support for Planned Parenthood.