As anti-choice protestors revved-up to demonstrate at Planned Parenthood clinics throughout the United States on February 11, pro-choice activists beat them at their own game: the organisation's supporters outnumbered those calling for it to be defunded.
Throughout the country, the counter-demonstrations featured larger crowds than the anti-Planned Parenthood ones.
In St Paul, Minnesota, while the anti-choice camp had 500 people in attendance, the counter-protesters numbered at least 5000.
In New York, the contrast was even starker. A couple dozen demonstrated against funding Planned Parenthood, but hundreds came out in support of the health provider. In fact, counter-demonstrators showed up in attendance well before the anti-choicers did.
President Donald Trump has pledged to defund Planned Parenthood. At least 14 states have tried to pass legislation or taken administrative action to prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving Title X funding — a federal grant program that supports family planning and preventative health services.
However, those in support of the clinic and reproductive rights in general are inspired by the movement’s energy.
“It’s so beautiful because people need to know — they need to see and feel the energy,” Marcella Tillett, vice-president of Planned Parenthood’s Project Street Beat, told Mic after the rally in New York.
“You know that people are supporting you, you know that there are plenty of Americans and plenty of people in this country who don’t support the Muslim ban, who don’t support shutting down Planned Parenthood … but you need to be in the midst of it and you need to know that you are in a community of people who are really energised about fighting back to feel that internally.
“Rallies like this do that.”
[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]