EUGENE, Ore. — Protestors converged at the old Federal Courthouse Wednesday evening to oppose a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to strip all federal funding from Planned Parenthood.
The protestors waved signs at passing drivers, many of whom indicated their support by honking their horns amidst the chants of “Women’s rights are under attack! What do we do? Stand up! Fight back!”
Cynthia Pappas, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon, expressed frustration with lawmakers who voted for the bill and ignored “the disastrous impact it would have on women’s access to health care.”
She challenged claims by Republican lawmakers that defunding Planned Parenthood would help rectify the country’s budget woes. Every $1 spent on family planning saves the government $4, she said. Pappas said an estimated 71 percent of Americans believe in access to preventative medicine.
Rep. Peter DiFazio, D-Springfield, also spoke to the idea that House Republicans had passed in spite of public opinion. “I do not believe a majority of the American — or even near a majority of the American people — support this mean-spirited attack on women’s reproductive health,” he said.
Mayor Kitty Piercy thanked the demonstrators for standing up for women’s rights in today’s vitriolic political climate. “I don’t think you’ve ever been needed more than you are today,” she said.
Later in her remarks, the mayor allied herself with Planned Parenthood and its mission. “I will always fight for a woman’s right to choose. I will always fight for access to contraception,” she said.