Rallies held both against and in support of Planned Parenthood

February 11, 2017 11:57 PM

“All of us have had a special connection, we've had friends and family that benefit from Planned Parenthood and Planned Parenthood is an important organization,” said Sonia Sandoval.

Sandoval, who helped organize a rally in support of Planned Parenthood in Albany Saturday was among  hundreds who gathered in a sea of pink outside of the Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood offices on Central Avenue.

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“It's about advocating and fighting for women and girls who desperately need the health care that Planned Parenthood could provide,” said first ward Albany Common Council Member Dorcey Applyrs.

Planned Parenthood provides birth control as well as reproductive and other health services, including abortion, to about 2.7 million women, men and young people each year; largely in underserved communities.

Demonstrators at the pro-Planned Parenthood rally oppose President Donald Trump's promise to restrict abortions and members of his party who vow to take away Planned Parenthood's federal funding.

“We know that in this country 7 out of 10 people believe Roe V. Wade should be the law of the land,” said Chelly Hegan, President and CEO of Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood. “It is not a popular message to take away women's rights,” she said.

I don’t believe our reproductive rights should be stripped away from us,” said Skidmore College freshman Barbara Kaso. “There's a power in masses and we should all stand united,” she said.

The protest was one of many held in response to over 200 anti-abortion rallies against Planned Parenthood across the nation Saturday, urging lawmakers to defund the organization.

Not far away in Troy, pro-life demonstrators did just that outside of the Planned Parenthood office on Broadway.

“We're asking them to stop spending tax dollars on killing innocent babies and children,” said Paul Coffey, who helped organize the pro-life rally. “No problem has ever been solved by killing an unborn baby,” he said.  

“Every life has value and worth and every life deserves protection,” said pro-life protester Stephen Hayford.

Planned Parenthood's future remains uncertain.

“We'd rather redirect the money towards better women's health care,” Coffey said.

However, the national debate continues.

“One of the most hot button issues that we have right now is not being able to have control over our own body and we demand that right,” Sandoval said. 


Nia Hamm

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