As the fight to strip the nation’s largest abortion chain of its federal funding turns red-hot, the pro-life grassroots is stepping up to do its part. On February 11, “Defund Planned Parenthood” rallies will be held at Planned Parenthood locations throughout the United States to support the defunding effort and confront Planned Parenthood’s propaganda machine.
The rallies are being organized by the #ProtestPP Coalition, of which the Pro-Life Action League is a primary co-sponsor, in concert with 40 Days for Life. In all, more than 60 pro-life organizations are lined up behind the rally effort.
After the general election last year opened up the real possibility of defunding Planned Parenthood, most pro-life leaders believed that campaign would have to wait until this fall, during negotiations for the 2018 budget. But then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced that Congress would make defunding Planned Parenthood a priority, including it as part of a wider effort to repeal Obamacare in this year’s budget reconciliation bill.
Because the reconciliation process requires a straight up-or-down vote in the Senate, there is no possibility of a filibuster. A budget without Planned Parenthood funding was sent to the president’s desk last year, and though it was vetoed by President Obama, it set the precedent for using this creative approach.
With defunding Planned Parenthood suddenly on the front burner, and Planned Parenthood pulling out all the stops to hold onto their taxpayer dollars, pro-life leaders on Capitol Hill recognized an urgent need for a strong showing of grassroots support for the defunding effort. So they reached out to the Pro-Life Action League and 40 Days for Life to mobilize rank-and-file pro-lifers for this battle.
Local pro-life leaders throughout the country have responded enthusiastically, and rally locations are popping up all over the map, with more being added every day. Those who do not find a rally scheduled nearby are encouraged to consider signing on to organize a rally at the closes Planned Parenthood center. as a local leader. A comprehensive rally toolkit is available at ProtestPP.com to help make every one of these rallies a success.
The message of the February 11 national rally isn’t just to demand an end to all federal defunding of Planned Parenthood, which comprises roughly 40% of their annual $1 billion budget. We’re also calling for those funds to be redirected to Federal Qualified Health Centers that provide a far wide spectrum of services to women without killing children through abortion.
In reality, the Charlotte Lozier Institute has found that there are 13 times more FQHCs than Planned Parenthood centers, serving about 8 times more women, despite all Planned Parenthood’s claims that poor women relying on them. Funds could easily be diverted to FQHCs to avoid any disruption of services to current Planned Parenthood clients.
If Planned Parenthood is deprived of its federal funding, not only will the real healthcare needs of poor women be far better served, but the abortion company will find its annual budget cut nearly in half. This would send the organization into a major crisis, possibly requiring them to begin shutting down locations within months, and crippling their ability to oppose pro-life legislation.
The goal of the February 11 “Defund Planned Parenthood” Rally is to help speed that day. A vote on the reconciliation bill, with defunding language included, is expected by the end of February.