Hundreds of people packed the 3700 block of NE MLK Jr. Boulevard in a high energy demonstration to stand up for Planned Parenthood and against the effort by House Republicans to defund the nation’s largest provider of health care for low-income people.
The crowd filled both sides of the block outside of Planned Parenthood’s offices, drawing support from the rush-hour traffic that honked and cheered the cause. Some present estimated about 700 in attendance.
The House on Friday voted to ban Planned Parenthood nationwide from federal funding for health care. The Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, based in Portland, serves 2,00o people every week, providing cancer screenings, birth control and other vital services for men and women who cannot otherwise afford health care.
Including this woman, who said she couldn’t afford health care, and was diagnosed at Planned Parenthood 15 years ago with stage 3 cervical cancer. It was treated, and she says she’s now healthy and clear of the disease. Nationally, the organization provides care to 3 million people.
The move by the House was generated as part of the fight against abortion rights, however, no federal money for Planned Parenthood pays for abortions – it’s prohibited by existing law. The money was used for preventative services, including contraception and other medical services. The cut, if approved by the Senate, would mean a loss of $330 million to Planned Parenthood nationwide. Participants signed banners to send off to Sens. Jeff Merkly and Ron Wyden to urge them to preserve the funding.
Read about Street Roots own encounter with the right-wing effort to disconnect people with Planned Parenthood services here.
More photos follow:
Posted by Joanne Zuhl