Planned Parenthood targets GOP lawmakers amid ObamaCare protests

Planned Parenthood targets GOP lawmakers amid ObamaCare protests
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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.

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Patients from Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanJuan Williams: Trump ought to thank Obama Democrats see ObamaCare leverage in spending fights Ryan: 'White supremacy is a scourge' MORE’s district are planning to attend. Last month, the Wisconsin Republican said that defunding Planned Parenthood will be part of ObamaCare repeal.

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 HellerDNC targets Heller with billboard ads Dems target Flake's seat amid GOP infighting Trump signs Veterans Affairs bill at New Jersey golf club 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 ChaffetzChaffetz named Harvard Institute of Politics fellow Fox's Chaffetz: Rosenstein has 'absolutely zero credibility' on going after leakers Ex-Republican who left over Trump allowed to run as independent in race to replace Chaffetz MORE (R-Utah) and Diane BlackDiane BlackHouse to take up spending bills, then budget Jockeying begins in race for House Budget gavel Overnight Finance: Trump signs Russia sanctions bill, rips Congress | Trump plan would cut legal immigration | Senate confirms labor board pick | House Budget chair running for governor | Regulator takes step to change 'Volcker Rule' 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 BradyGOP planning to release tax framework next month: reports Tax reform done right is key to boosting America’s economy GOP group launches TV ad campaign for tax reform 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 FlakeChallenger’s super PAC accuses Flake of betraying voters in new ad Dems target Flake's seat amid GOP infighting Republican lawmakers criticize Trump response to Charlottesville 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.