Activists protest outside of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s Rosenfield Clinic in Des Moines, IA.
Photo credit: Shane Vander Hart

(Des Moines, IA) Outside Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s Rosenfield Clinic, the only surgical abortion center in Des Moines, a group of about 30 to 40 protesters this morning were outside protesting to urge Congress to redirect taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion business, to comprehensive health care centers.

This protest was one of five similar protests in Iowa with others being held in Cedar Falls, Council Bluffs, Iowa City and Sioux City.  This protest was part of a larger movement with activists protesting outside over 200 Planned Parenthood facilities in 44 states and the nation’s capital. The nationwide protest primary sponsors are Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Created Equal, and Pro-Life Action League and was co-sponsored by an additional 70 organizations nationwide.

“We are out here because on a national level we see the tides that there could be a chance for Planned Parenthood to be defunded and those funds that go to Planned Parenthood annually could be routed to other women’s health centers that will care for the whole person and not provide abortions,” Geneveve Loraditch, a local organizer, told Caffeinated Thoughts.

Loraditch said they have received a lot of support and affirmation from those who pass by, but have also received some negative feedback from time to time with people shouting at them.

“We understand this isn’t an easy conversation,” Loraditch said.

Efforts have been made to defund abortion providers of taxpayer money here in Iowa and in Washington, DC. The Iowa Senate recently passed a bill that would reallocate state taxpayer funding away from abortion providers to federally qualified health centers and family planning organizations who do not provide abortion services.

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) introduced a similar bill in the U.S. Senate to do the same nationally.

Recently, President Donald Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy which defunded Planned Parenthood International of taxpayer funding.

The rallies today were to emphasize that Planned Parenthood performs 34% of US abortions which underscores the fact that they are not a general health care service provider. Planned Parenthood provides less than 2% of manual breast exams, fewer than 1% of pap tests, and 0% of mammograms, annually.

Organizers say moving Planned Parenthood’s funding to federally qualified health centers will offer women and their families a wider range of health care services and a higher standard of care.

“The federal government has been subsidizing Planned Parenthood to the tune of more than $430 million annually,” explained Eric Scheidler, national organizer of #ProtestPP and executive director for the Pro-Life Action League. “This, at the same time that the nation’s largest abortion provider holds $500 ticket fundraisers and charges a woman about $500 to abort her baby. On top of that, Planned Parenthood is trafficking baby body parts. Taxpayers are sickened to see their money spent in support of these atrocities.”

“Americans want to end taxpayer funding of abortion – that includes stopping taxpayer funding for the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, and ensuring any Obamacare replacement is pro-life, and does not allow tax dollars or tax credits to pay for health care plans that include abortion,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of  Susan B. Anthony List, a co-sponsor of the protest. “Planned Parenthood is a profit-driven, abortion-centered business that has performed more than 300,000 abortions in the last three years for which data are available. They do not need or deserve taxpayer dollars, and redirecting their federal funding to rural and community health centers would be a victory for women’s health. These comprehensive clinics outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities 20 to 1 nationwide and provide far more services. The majority of Americans want taxpayer funding to go to real women’s health care, not abortion. This Saturday, that majority will let their voices be heard at #ProtestPP gatherings nationwide.”

“Planned Parenthood’s brand is at an all-time low and their leadership reflects how disconnected they are from science and basic American values. This weekend thousands of Americans will stand in peaceful opposition to send a message that abortion is not health care and as the nation’s largest abortion operation, Planned Parenthood should not get $1 of taxpayer money, much less $430 million,” stated Shawn Carney the President of 40 Days for Life, who also co-sponosred the nationwide event.

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