NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Anti-abortion activists emboldened by the new administration of President Donald Trump are staging rallies around the country calling for the federal government to cut off payments to Planned Parenthood. But in some cities the demonstrations are being dwarfed by counter-protests.
Thousands of Planned Parenthood supporters turned out Saturday morning for a rally in St. Paul, Minnesota. In Detroit, about 300 people turned up outside a Planned Parenthood office, most of them supporting the organization.
About 300 pro-choice protesters gathered outside the Planned Parenthood office on Bleecker Street, chanting “fund Planned Parenthood, one in every neighborhood” and carrying signs that read, “My uterus, my choice.”
Across the street, there were about 50 pro-lifers. Some of them were praying the rosary, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported.
Pro-choice protester Rebecca Bigsby proudly said she was for abortion and funding for Planned Parenthood should continue.
“This is for low-income women, this is contraceptives, this is where kids go when they’re 16 years old instead of having babies,” Bigsby said.
“So many people equate Planned Parenthood with abortion, and in fact, abortion is a tiny percentage of services they offer,” another pro-choice protester, Brigette Marmion, said.
“It is a woman’s fundamental right to control what happens to her own body and because of that the right to have an abortion for any reason under any circumstance is pivotal to the freedom of women,” another said.
Pro-lifer Jesse Espinosa said the government should not be paying for abortions.
“Planned Parenthood should stop getting $500 million from the government when that money could be used in a better way, not abortion,” Espinosa said.
Both groups said they were for women’s rights, D’Auria reported.
Trump last month banned U.S. funding to international groups that perform abortions or even provide information about abortions. His newly confirmed health secretary, Tom Price, has supported cutting off federal money to Planned Parenthood.
Federal dollars don’t pay for abortions, but the organization is reimbursed by Medicaid for other services, including birth control and cancer screening.
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