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Pro-life groups call for protests at 14 Planned Parenthood facilities in Florida this weekend

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

This Saturday, protests are being scheduled in front of Planned Parenthood facilities across the country, including 14 locations throughout Florida.

More than 50 pro-life groups are listed as members of the “ProtestPP” National Day of Protest coalition.  According to the organizers’ website, the goal is to “raise awareness of the heartless and even illegal activities of Planned Parenthood by going to where the killing and harvesting of body parts from aborted children takes place.”

The four main sponsors are Created Equal, the Pro-Life Action League, 40 Days for Life, and Citizens for a Pro-Life Society.

The announcement of the protests came on the same day that a seventh video was released by the pro-life group Center for Medical Progress. Today’s video alleges that the abortion industry has harvested the organs of still-alive fetuses.

Although not organizing the protests, the Christian conservative Florida Family Action group sent a mass email to its members today informing them about the protests:

While Florida Family Action will be making the defunding of Planned Parenthood in Florida a major priority issue in the months to come, we are not the direct organizer of these protests, but we still encourage you to participate! We need to work together with every other group moving in the right direction in this historic effort to stop this evil in our state and communities.

Meanwhile, a new poll released today by Reuters/Ipsos shows that Planned Parenthood’s reputation has definitely suffered in the wake of the various videos that have been released, which began with PP officials appearing to negotiate prices for aborted fetal tissue. Yet it also shows Americans still broadly support providing federal funding for free women’s health exams, screenings and contraception services.

In all, 54 percent support federal funding of Planned Parenthood, and 26 percent opposed it.

But 44 percent of respondents who saw the videos said they now have a more negative view of Planned Parenthood, compared with 34 percent who said their views were unchanged.

Also today, Barbara Zdravecky, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida said that the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA)  admitted that as long as the procedures for abortions are performed within 14 weeks from a woman’s last menstrual period, “they do not exceed the authority under our licenses. “Planned Parenthood had threatened litigation after AHCA said earlier this month that three clinics in Florida had been guilty of performing second-trimester abortions.

“We’ve said all along that Planned Parenthood follow all laws and has  very high medical standards,” said Dawn Laguens, vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a statement. “The state of Florida’s own records from nearly a decade ago clearly state that Planned Parenthood is following the law, and today’s news confirms nothing has changed. This underscores what this smear campaign is really about–blocking women’s access to birth control, cancer screenings, STD tests, and safe, legal abortion.”

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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