Billed as "the day we fight back," people across the United States are taking to the streets, social media, and their wardrobes on Tuesday to participate in nationwide "Pinkout" actions in support of Planned Parenthood.
As the House Oversight Government Reform Committee holds a hearing about allegations against Planned Parenthood, the organization expects millions of people to rally support by participating in one of 20 marches across the country; uploading a message of appreciation to social media; or simply wearing pink.
In an effort to show the wide array of health services they provide to communities, Planned Parenthood on Tuesday is offering free testing for sexually transmitted infections in 28 cities across the country.
Meanwhile, Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Judy Chu (D-CA), and Nita Lowey (D-NY) will on Tuesday afternoon deliver a petition signed by more than two million people calling on their colleagues in Congress to continue to fund the organization—which, in numerous places, is the sole provider of reproductive health care services.
"Women and men across the country turn to Planned Parenthood as a trusted provider of reproductive health care—one in five women in America has relied on Planned Parenthood for care in her lifetime," declared Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards in a statement. "Denying people the ability to go to Planned Parenthood would harm millions of people. These baseless political attacks are about one thing—interfering with women’s personal medical decisions."
In response to a right-wing video smear campaign orchestrated by anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress, some lawmakers are pressing for legislation that would sever federal funding for Planned Parenthood for the next year unless it stops providing abortion care. Republican members are threatening a government shutdown over the issue, even though the videos have been debunked as frauds—and no evidence has been produced showing that Planned Parenthood has committed any violations of federal or state laws.
"Today, the witch hunt against Planned Parenthood continues, demonstrating just how far anti-choice and extremist politicians are willing to go to deny women the high quality healthcare they have come to expect," said Sasha Bruce, senior vice president of campaigns and strategy for NARAL Pro-Choice America. "The heavily edited videos, which are being used as a pretense in this campaign to erode our constitutional rights, do not fool the millions who have walked through the doors of a Planned Parenthood clinic to experience their compassionate care for themselves."
Despite efforts to discredit the group, public polling suggests that those pressing for defunding do not represent the U.S. public.
A nationwide survey released Tuesday by USA Today/Suffolk University finds that the U.S. public supports government funding of Planned Parenthood by over two to one. Two thirds of respondents said that public funding for the group should continue, with just 29 percent saying the money flow should stop. The poll of 1,000 likely voters has a margin of error of plus or minus three percent.
Meanwhile, growing numbers are participating in efforts to strip abortion of stigma and shame by sharing their experiences with the medical procedure under the banner of "Shout Your Abortion."