Planned Parenthood latches onto Women’s March on Washington in attempt to shore up funding support
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 4, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-aborts are capitalizing on a nationwide feminist-organized anti-Trump protest slated for the day after the president-elect’s inauguration, with Planned Parenthood hoping to galvanize forces against potentially losing its federal funding.
The abortion giant signed on in late December as a partner of the Women’s March on Washington specifically to target Trump, helping the event leaders by providing staff and large-scale event planning knowledge, according to a report from The Guardian.
Planned Parenthood Federation president Cecile Richards thinks the protest will “send a strong message to the incoming administration that millions of people across this country are prepared to fight attacks on reproductive healthcare, abortion services, and access to Planned Parenthood.”
The abortion giant is helping to mold the march’s policy agenda and hopes in return that many of the protesters will rally in its corner when Trump and congressional Republicans move to strip its millions in federal funding.
The march, scheduled to start the morning of January 21 at the Lincoln Memorial and end at the White House, grew from a grassroots effort after the election when the Facebook event went viral, attracting political organizers and groups to become involved.
More than 163,000 Facebook users have indicated on the march’s national page that they will attend. And while the main protest is set for the nation’s capital, groups in some 30 U.S. locations are also planning marches, as well as internationally in cities such as Sydney, Zurich and Mexico City. Additional Facebook pages have established for local marches.
Planned Parenthood recognized the level of apparent interest in the upcoming protest and moved to harness the effort for its own end.
“It’s no secret Planned Parenthood is expecting the fight of our lives,” said Kelley Robinson, deputy national organizing director for Planned Parenthood. “This is a movement where people are inspired to take action at numbers we’ve never seen before. We want to make sure they have a great time at this march but also plug into local efforts. We want to make sure people are taking action not just on 21 January but stay engaged for months and years into the future.”
The feminist group National Organization for Women (NOW) endorsed the event as well, inferring in its statement that abortion is a human right.
“We will join with activists from across the country in a historic and necessary affirmation that women’s rights are human rights,” NOW president Terry O’Neill stated. “There is no better place for us to deliver this message than Washington, D.C. on the first day of the new administration.”
“NOW stands in unwavering solidarity with our sisters whose communities have been insulted, demonized and threatened in recent months,” she went on, “including communities of color, LGBTQIA people, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslims, people with disabilities, economically impoverished people, survivors of sexual assault, and those who seek – and the caring professionals who provide – safe, affordable abortion care and birth control.”
There are also reports of Canadian women planning to travel to Washington, D.C. to protest Trump.
"The Trump administration doesn't have any respect for women or minorities," Yukon resident Tina Woodland said. "What I see happening is scary. I just think people need to speak out."
Woodland is flying down to Washington, National Newswatch reports, and hundreds more will come in chartered buses. Local protests in Canada will take place in such cities as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
Women’s March on Washington representatives have emphasized that the event’s focus is broader than just Trump.
“We’re not targeting Trump specifically,” protest spokeswoman Cassady Fendlay said. “It’s much more about being proactive about women’s rights.”
Arab American Association of New York executive director Linda Sarsour, a co-chair, said it was a “stand on social justice and human rights issues ranging from race, ethnicity, gender, religion, immigration, and healthcare.”
However, the president-elect was named directly and criticized earlier by event organizers and in information about the march.
Co-chair Bob Bland told Reuters in November as post-election anti-Trump protests raged that the march is a response to Trump's attitudes toward women that emerged during his campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
And a call to action for the protest originally reported in November by the Daily Mail as posted on its national Facebook page was not later part of its description. Now, though, it shows up on at least one local page, with another local group adding the word “peacefully” into the description.
“March from the Lincoln Memorial to the White House to show our strength, power, and courage, and to demonstrate our disapproval of the new President's agenda of fear, hate, misogyny, discrimination, and his values,” the original statement said.
Trump, who won in November in a historic upset over rabidly pro-abortion Hillary Clinton, faced criticism for brash demeanor, lewd comments and allegations of sexual assault. He has said he would appoint pro-life Supreme Court judges and defund Planned Parenthood as long as the abortion behemoth performs abortions.
During the final presidential debate, Trump became the first candidate to use an explicit and detailed description to criticize abortion, also blasting Clinton’s support for partial-birth and late-term abortion.
“Well, I think it’s terrible," Trump said. "What Hillary is saying in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby. Now, you can say that that's OK, and Hillary can say that that's OK, but it's not OK with me. Because based on what she's saying and based on where she's going and where she's been, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month on the final day. And that's not acceptable."
A spokesman for Trump said the president-elect’s team plans to hear out the Women’s March on Washington demonstrators.
"We're here to hear their concerns," Boris Epshteyn, communications director for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, told CNN's "New Day" program last week. "We understand that people have concerns, but we welcome them to our side as well."
"We hope some will come to D.C. and change their minds instead of protest,” Epshteyn added. “Come celebrate with us."