One such protest was held in one of Planned Parrenthood’s Houston clinics, where several hundred peoples with pro-life signs. While some protesters brought up faith and opposition to abortion as their main reason for opposing the group, some also admitted to being drawn out by recent videos recorded secretly which saw members of the organization offering to sell fetal tissue.
The agency has repeatedly denied the veracity of the videos, claiming that it was heavily edited and that none of its employees has engaged into fetal tissue traffic. But spokeswoman Rochelle Tafolla said that donating fetal tissue to help scientific research is a common practice in the medical community.
However, the organizations’ response hasn’t convinced the protesters, many of which were carrying religious symbols or posters with the face of Virgin Mary. They prayed and preached for hours outside the entrance of the complex, from where they chastised or tried to reason with people entering and exiting the Planned Parenthood building.
Other 14 Planned Parenthood centers around the country were also targeted by protests, as the agency’s international offices also gathered crowds in Mexico or Slovakia. But in any of the cases, the response from officials were the same: they believe the protesters were acting on manipulated information and sympathized with extremist medical groups which are trying to impede parts of the medical practice which do not bode well with religion.
“These extremist organizations are trying to stop health care. These groups don’t do a thing to help people detect cancer or avoid unintended pregnancy. Too many women, men and families in Texas are going without health care, and it’s taking a toll on our community” said Texas Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Alejandra Diaz.
In other news, Missouri republican lawmakers are asking whether they can cut Medicaid funds from reaching the agency in the aftermath of the leaked videos, as St. Louis was specifically named as one of the locations where fetal tissue could be bought. Planned Parenthood has about 14 affiliates around the state which received about $371,000 in federal and Medicaid funding last year. If past examples are to be considered, the proposal is unlikely to go through, as Medicaid funding can not be cut out discriminately based on one’s beliefs.
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