Planned Parenthood is gearing up for numerous rallies and events scheduled during recess week, hoping to build on the momentum from the recent protests at GOP lawmakers’ town halls.
Starting on Saturday as lawmakers head back to their home states for Presidents Day, the women’s health organization will be holding rallies, events and town halls across the country — many of them organized by supporters through Planned Parenthood’s "Defenders" program.
The move comes as congressional Republicans look to block the organization from receiving federal parents as part of an ObamaCare repeal. While federal money already can't be spent on funding abortions, anti-abortion groups and legislators want to prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving federal healthcare money for providing other women's health services.
Planned Parenthood says it has 300 events planned throughout the month of February, with many of them concentrated during recess week. Some of those events include a rally outside Alaska’s statehouse and a rally in Milwaukee, Wis. on Feb. 25 to tout the organization’s support and push back on efforts to defund it.
There will also be two town halls in Nevada: one in Reno next Wednesday and another in Las Vegas next Thursday. The group said it will be contacting and showing up at Sen. Dean HellerDean HellerPlanned Parenthood targets GOP lawmakers amid ObamaCare protests Overnight Finance: Fed chief tries to stay above partisan fray | Bill would eliminate consumer agency | Trump signs repeal of SEC rule on foreign payments Fed chief looks to stay above partisan fray in Trump era MORE’s (R-Nev.) office to invite him to attend. Heller, who is up for reelection in 2018, is Senate Democrats’ biggest target in the midterm elections.
Protesters have been flooding town halls in lawmakers’ home states, including those of Reps. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzJuan Williams: Senate GOP begins to push Trump away GOP Congress unnerved by Trump bumps The latest scheme in the left’s war on Trump MORE (R-Utah) and Diane BlackDiane BlackHouse votes to let states deny federal funds to abortion providers Planned Parenthood targets GOP lawmakers amid ObamaCare protests Overnight Healthcare: GOP rift threatens repeal effort | Republicans move against Planned Parenthood | Humana to quit ObamaCare MORE (R-Tenn.), particularly over the looming battle over ObamaCare and pushing back on repeal of former President Obama’s signature healthcare law.
But House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Brady7 key players in the GOP's border tax fight Graham: Ryan tax plan won’t get 10 votes in the Senate GOP's ObamaCare talking points leave many questions unanswered MORE (R-Texas) pushed back against the protests addressing the fate of the law, saying they won’t change GOP plans to repeal and replace it.
Planned Parenthood has been a flashpoint in political campaigns and congressional politics.
Trump has previously said Planned Parenthood “has done very good work for millions of women,” but has also said the organization won’t be funded if it still performs abortions.
The group released a poll in January that found that half of likely voters would be less likely to support Heller and Sen. Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeOvernight Tech: GOP chairman to propose high-skilled visa overhaul | Zuckerberg's 5,700 word letter | Tech lobbies gear up ahead of internet fight Senate Dem blasts GOP for trying to repeal broadband privacy rules Planned Parenthood targets GOP lawmakers amid ObamaCare protests MORE (R-Ariz.) in 2018 if they voted to defund Planned Parenthood.
But the survey stands in contrast to a poll conducted by the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List that found a majority of voters in six 2018 battlegrounds would be less likely to support the Democratic senators representing those states if they vote to maintain funding.
This week, the House will be challenging Obama’s rule that bans states from withholding federal funding for Planned Parenthood and other healthcare providers and centers that perform abortions for political reasons.