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Hundreds Rally For Planned Parenthood In Balboa Park

Photo credit: Matt Bowler

Planned Parenthood supporters held banners and signs showing their support of the organization across from Balboa Park, March 24, 2017.

The threat of a cut-off of federal funding for Planned Parenthood prompted hundreds of people to rally Friday in Balboa Park.

Planned Parenthood was singled out in the Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. That didn't sit well with hundreds of San Diegans, who held a rally Friday for the organization in Balboa Park.

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Under the Republican plan, California's Planned Parenthood clinics would have lost some $174 million in federal Medicaid funds.

Erin Panichkull, who volunteers for the local chapter in San Diego, came to rally. She said Republicans just don't like what Planned Parenthood stands for.

“And I think it all comes down to power and control. Controlling women’s bodies, women’s decisions. We don’t have the same conversations around men’s healthcare, or vasectomies," she said.

Those who supported cutting off public money for Planned Parenthood said community clinics could have picked up the slack.

Nora Vargas, vice president of government affairs with Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, said that’s nonsense.

“They cannot absorb the number of patients that we see," she said. "We see over 850,000 patients in California a year.”

A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed 75 percent of Americans said they supported continued federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

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