A rally for Planned Parenthood was held at the Indiana Statehouse Thursday. Supporters continue to tout all the health care services provided by the nonprofit, as anti-abortion advocates push to defund the organization.
Public affairs manager for Planned Parenthood Wanda Savala says more people are supporting the group than ever before.
“We’ve seen our donations tick up by factors of 10, we have seen thousands of folks coming in every month and saying I want to stand with Planned Parenthood, tell me how I can help,” Savala says.
The Health Access and Privacy Alliance organized the event urging state and federal lawmakers to stop efforts to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. Around two dozen supporters, including Planned Parenthood patient, Haylee Brannon, emphasized the preventative services that a majority of women receive at clinics.
“I was able to get a pap smear, when I couldn’t afford one at the local hospital. I was able to do cancer screenings. I was able to have affordable birth control so I didn’t get pregnant in college,” Brannon says.
Seven U.S. representatives from Indiana recently voted to overturn a rule that barred states from blocking federal dollars meant for centers, like Planned Parenthood, that provide family planning services. Anti-abortion advocates have called for funds meant for Planned Parenthood to be diverted to Federally Qualified Health Centers.
Physicians for Reproductive Health, Dr. Tracy Wilkinson says this isn’t feasible.
“I don’t think our health care system as it stands right now could absorb the services of PP if they were to close,” Wilkinson says.
The alliance says nearly 50,000 Hoosiers wouldn’t be able to access services they need if Planned Parenthood closed.