An anti-Planned Parenthood rally in Indianapolis was one of about 200 held across the country this weekend. The rally to defund the women’s reproductive health service and a counter-rally held at the Statehouse were well attended.
In front of a Planned Parenthood clinic on the northwest side of Indianapolis, more than 150 people listened to speakers from anti-abortion groups. They say the federal and state governments should no longer give money to Planned Parenthood.
President of Students for Life at Indiana University Jenna Fischer says it was important for her to be there.
“I know that countless of my classmates, people sitting next to me in class, on the bus, go there for abortions and I know that hurts them,” Fischer says.
Ron Kramer attended the rally to defund Planned Parenthood.
“I’m wearing a shirt that says life at conception,” says Kramer. “I happen to know that I was a zygote, that’s a single celled organism, at one time and everyone here was.”
The nonprofit receives more than $500 million a year in government funding, and speakers at the rally want this money diverted to Federally Qualified Health Centers that don’t perform abortions.
Planned Parenthood supporters held a counter-rally at the Statehouse.
Reily Sanderson was one of about 250 attending the rally and spoke to the crowd. Sanderson has used Planned Parenthood services.
“I just want people to know that Planned Parenthood is so much more than an abortion clinic, it’s a health care clinic to provide women with the health care that they need,” Sanderson says.
Becky Troyer rallied in support of services at Planned Parenthood. Troyer says Planned Parenthood helped prevent a unintended pregnancy when she was in college, and she has taken her own 18-year-old daughter there.
“They prevent more abortions than they ever perform,” Troyer says.
The nonprofit does provide a variety of reproductive health services including birth control. Supporters say stripping federal funding will seriously limit reproductive healthcare access.