Supporters of Planned Parenthood and pro-life groups staged separate peaceful demonstrations many blocks apart along North Lake Avenue over the weekend.
At the larger of the two, Planned Parenthood said as many as 300 showed up outside the Lake Avenue Gold Line station in support of “over 850,000 Californians who would be at risk of losing their health care” if Planned Parenthood health centers are defunded.
“Today’s demonstration in support of Planned Parenthood represents the true values of this state where a majority of women and men, Democrats and Republicans alike, support women’s reproductive health and rights,” Julianne Hines, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Advocates Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley, said on Saturday.
Hines said defunding Planned Parenthood would create a health care crisis in California.
“Those who would be hurt the most are women and men struggling to get by and those who already face barriers to care,” Hines said. “Planned Parenthood Advocates and this community stand in solidarity with the most vulnerable among us and will work to uphold California’s true values.”
Farther north near the Planned Parenthood clinic at 1045 N. Lake Avenue, Pasadena resident Elizabeth Gail Boydston helped organized a protest where about 50 participants held signs in protest of abortion, sang hymns and prayed. Boydston said she would prefer seeing Planned Parenthood’s federal funding given to community health centers.
Boydston’s demonstration was in support of of a nationwide movement to defund Planned Parenthood. Organized by #ProtestPP which is primarily sponsored by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Created Equal and the Pro-Life Action League, the Pasadena rally coincided with similar demonstrations in other states throughout the U.S.
“We did a good job,” Boydston posted on Facebook after the rally.
Last month, President Donald Trump said he was banning U.S. funding to international groups that perform abortions or provide information about them. Trump’s health secretary Tom Price has publicly stated he supports cutting off taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood.
Federal dollars don’t actually pay for abortions, but Planned Parenthood is reimbursed by Medicaid for other services like contraception and cancer screening. Anti-abortionists say the reimbursements help subsidize abortions.
Planned Parenthood says the majority of the women who seek their services ask for information about contraception, get tested for cancer or are treated for sexually transmitted disease.