An estimated 100 Alaskans gathered in Anchorage on July 28 urging lawmakers to investigate and defund Planned Parenthood in the wake of several undercover videos released in July by the Center for Medical Progress. The videos show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the harvesting and sale of body parts from aborted babies. More than 50 cities across the United States held rallies following the release of the videos.
The gatherings, called ”Women Betrayed,” aimed to raise awareness of the ways that Planned Parenthood has betrayed women and their children those whom they claim to care for.
The Anchorage rally included speeches by State Senator Mike Dunleavy, Anchorage radio host Bernadette Wilson and former State Senator Fred Dyson. A number of Catholics were among the crowd including Dominican priest Father Mark Francis from Holy Family Cathedral and local parishioners.
Speakers urged attendees to contact their legislators to defund Planned Parenthood in Alaska and across the nation.
According to a report from the Alaska Dispatch, speaker Bernadette Wilson spoke about the need to ban Planned Parenthood from speaking and contracting with schools in Alaska.
The undercover videos have ignited fierce debate about whether tax payers should have to fund such an organization. Even long-time abortion rights advocates like Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton have called the videos disturbing.
The Dispatch reported that the Anchorage rally included people who had never attended a pro-life rally before but were disturbed by the new videos highlighting Planned Parenthood’s practices.
“Women are supposed to help and support other women — not use them for profit and sell the body parts of their prenatal children,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, the national group coordinating the local rallies. “Planned Parenthood gets a half a billion a year in taxpayer dollars. We are calling on every state and federal government to cut off those funds immediately and investigate Planned Parenthood for possible wrongdoing.”
The first video from the Center for Medical Progress shows a top Planned Parenthood executive musing about how she “crushes” certain parts of the baby in order to get desired organs intact. This, according to Students for Life, is the latest infraction in a long list of horrific behaviors, including the covering up statutory rape, overbilling taxpayers, aiding and abetting sex traffickers and scheduling sex-selective abortions.
“Planned Parenthood had a net profit of $127 million in 2013-2014. Let them fundraise and support themselves like any other business in the country that isn’t deceiving women and making money off of taking the lives of the most vulnerable and selling their body parts,” said Hawkins.
In Alaska the rally will be held on Tuesday, July 28, at noon at the far west end of the Park Strip in downtown Anchorage. Local speakers will address the crowd.
Alaska Family Action helped organize the local rally. In an email about the event the group notes that several governors and state attorney generals have started investigations into Planned Parenthood in other states.
The email notes that “it is crucially important to bring people together to call attention to this atrocity and hold this taxpayer-funded organizational accountable.”