Dueling Rallies Held For and Against Planned Parenthood

Dueling rallies were held in the Capital Region Sunday, one pushing to defund Planned Parenthood and the other defending the organization.

"We’re out today along with thousands of other citizens trying to keep the pressure on congress to do what they’re supposed to do," said Paul Coffey, a Defund Planned Parenthood rally organizer.

A rally held in Troy was one of more than 200 rallies across the country calling on Congress to strip Planned Parenthood of all federal funding.

Saturday morning's rally in Collar City drew dozens from across the Capital Region.

"The $533 million that is currently being spend on Planned Parenthood, we'd rather have that money be allocated for total health support for women who need healthcare," Coffey said.

Instead, they'd rather see funds go to health centers that help disadvantaged women without providing abortions.

"Killing an unborn infant never solved a problem," Coffey said. "It just creates more problems."

Meanwhile, across the river in Albany, about a thousand people came out for a Stand with Planned Parenthood rally.

"These groups will continue to protest as long as women can exercise their rights," said Chelly Hegan, the Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood CEO & president.

"Healthcare is a basic human right and you cannot take that away from people," said Emily Bryan, Standing with Planned Parenthood rally organizer.

Organizers of the rally say Planned Parenthood offers essential services to the community, beyond abortions. That includes cancer screenings and STD testing.

Several elected officials were also in attendance, including Congressman Paul Tonko.

"Let our voices be heard because there is a silver lining in all these challenges that have been coming forward," Tonko (D) said.

With both sides continuing make their voices heard, the fight over Planned Parenthood funding appears to be far from over.

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