Thousands of protestors showed up outside over 300 Planned Parenthood clinics Saturday morning.
Protestors tweeted photos of the crowds and their mostly hand-made signs, causing their hashtag, #ProtestPP, to trend on Twitter. At several protests, people carried a large pink sign that read "Planned Parenthood sells baby parts," referring to a series of undercover videos that revealed the abortion giant sells aborted fetal organs and tissue to biomedical companies.
Despite the massive turnout, several people said there was little to no media presence at the events.
Several activist groups across the country came together with pastors and prominent faith leaders to organize the protests, including the Family Research Council, the Susan B. Anthony List, and Americans United for Life.
Eric Scheidler, director of the Pro-Life Action League, told the Washington Examiner Friday that he was "fully confident" at least 10,000 people would show up to protest but thinks it's possible as many as 100,000 will participate.
One organizer told the Examiner that this is the largest protest he has seen in his 20 years working in the pro-life movement.
What's fueling the interest, organizers say, is how the footage shows Planned Parenthood workers discussing fetal tissue. In one video, an official appears to be haggling over the compensation for a fetus with undercover actors posing as human tissue buyers. In another, a medical director talks about "crushing" some parts of the fetus while keeping desirable organs intact.
"People are absolutely horrified by what they're seeing," said Scheidler, who organized the protest with Created Equal President Mark Harrington and Monica Miller, president of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society. "These videos show Planned Parenthood in such a cold blooded, negative, callous light."
Planned Parenthood has gone as far as to cut up and sell "the body parts of babies they abort, even going as far as cutting out the brains of children with hearts still beating," said Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life of America, at a rally today in St. Paul. "This is the turning point in the history of abortion in our nation and our time to speak out, to have our pro-life message of hope and love for both woman and child heard by the media."
"Women have been betrayed and Planned Parenthood has sold them and their preborn babies out, all for profit," said Hawkins. "What's worse, we the taxpayers are footing the bill, giving over half a billion dollars a year to the abortion giant. It's time to defund Planned Parenthood."
Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens told The Hill that she is confident the group will continue to receive Federal funding. Previous efforts to remove the abortion giant's half a billion dollar Federal subsidy failed in Congress in July.
"I certainly believe that [we'll be funded], because I believe the American people are speaking — and our patients, the one-in-five women who rely on Planned Parenthood over their lifetime — are [speaking to lawmakers]," she said.