Second #WomenBetrayed rally sparks ire over funding of Planned Parenthood

In 2013, Planned Parenthood's net profit was $127 million.

It makes the case to support federal funding of Planned Parenthood tough to swallow.

"Let them support themselves like any other business," said Reagan Nielsen, who led the second #WomenBetrayed Speak Out rally outside Sen. Claire McCaskill's St. Louis office Aug. 18. About 50 people attended; after several people spoke, participants filed inside McCaskill's office to deliver signed letters asking her to defund Planned Parenthood.

Nielsen, Midwest regional coordinator for Students for Life of America, called on McCaskill to "cut her loyalty to Planned Parenthood." McCaskill was among 46 senators to vote against a bill Aug. 3 to prohibit funding of Planned Parenthood; 53 senators voted for the bill, but it didn't meet the three/fifths majority to pass — 60 votes.

Earlier this month, McCaskill told MSNBC host Joe Scarborough that the "common ground is this: We all want to prevent abortions."

Explaining her support of Planned Parenthood, she added, "How in the world do we prevent abortions by taking away money for birth control for millions of women across this country? That's going to increase abortions, not decrease them."

McCaskill agreed that Planned Parenthood should be investigated to make sure no laws have been broken and that tax funding doesn't go specifically toward abortions.

The day after the rally, the Center for Medical Progress released its seventh undercover video depicting Planned Parenthood personnel speaking about the sale of fetal body parts from abortions. In that video, former StemExpress employee Holly O'Donnell described harvesting a brain from a fully intact fetus after an abortion in which the child's heart was still beating. 

Meanwhile, a Missouri Senate committee continues its investigation whether Planned Parenthood is violating state laws in its handling of fetal tissue. The Senate Interim on the Sanctity of Life, led by Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, questioned Department of Health and Senior Services director Gail Vasterling about the handling of fetal body parts after an abortion. Vasterling said the she doesn't know what happens to remains after the department receives a pathology report for each abortion. The next Senate committee meeting is Aug. 25.

Two House committees also are holding joint hearings.

The undercover videos have attracted the attention of people who haven't been active in the pro-life movement in the past. Theresa, who attended the rally at McCaskill's office, said she considers herself pro-life, but it was the first time she'd attended an event like this. (Theresa asked that her last name be withheld for fear she'd lose business over her attendance.)

"There has to be a stop to this," she said, adding that abortion is "hidden behind a veil of comfort and caring. This is atrocious."

Rebekah Rages attended the rally after reading a story about General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who ordered German citizens of nearby towns and villages to walk through concentration camps after they were liberated from the Nazi regime.

The videos, she said, are once again bringing to light the atrocious reality of what happens with abortion. "I want to make my voice and presence heard against this barbaric practice," she said. 

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