[ Protect Your Sisters, Not Just Your Cis-Ters. We Love Planned Parenthood. ]
On February 11, over 800 people rallied at the intersection of Soquel and Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz, and across the country, in response to nationwide “Defund Planned Parenthood” rallies. Animated speakers shared personal stories of receiving vital healthcare services from Planned Parenthood, often unaccessible anywhere else.
Demonstrators lined Pacific holding colorful homemade signs in support of fundamental rights to affordable healthcare and non-judgmental family planning, while also illustrating many of the horrendous atrocities which result from defunding Planned Parenthood.
Meanwhile, a dozen people congregated on Cedar Street, a block away from Pacific Avenue, in protest of Planned Parenthood. Organizers of the counter-protest requested for people to join them on Pacific Avenue and not engage with the Planned Parenthood protestors. However a group roughly the same size as the protestors said they were not engaging, but were determined to hold their ground and maintain a close presence. They said the rally on Pacific Avenue was too festive, and they did not show up for a celebration.
In addition to greatly overshadowing the small number of Planned Parenthood protestors, organizers of the counter-demonstration also collected $1,790 in donations, with 100% given to Planned Parenthood Santa Cruz.
The February 11 rally in support in Planned Parenthood follows the historic Santa Cruz Women’s March on January 21, 2017.
* Note, these photos were taken and processed on a phone.