Emergency rally to defend Planned Parenthood being held in Lafayette

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LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Community members are getting ready for an emergency rally to defend Planned Parenthood outside U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita’s office, after the congressman co-sponsored a bill that aims to strip federal funding from the health care provider.

The Obamacare repeal bill unveiled by the House Monday includes language that would defund Planned Parenthood for a year, unless the organization vows not perform any abortions during that period.

Downtown Lafayette rally organizer Bria Fleming joined us live on News 18 at Five to talk about the event. She said the point of the rally is to make sure our legislative leaders know their decisions are affecting people.

“It is not their choice how we grow our families,” Fleming said. “And it is not their choice how we live our lives and our access to health care.”

The point of the rally is visibility, she said.

“And we’re here to nip this in the butt,” said Fleming. “Congressman Rokita is a co-sponsor of this bill, and we just want to be visible. We want to send a message.”

Fleming hopes to gain some support at Tuesday night’s rally by signing up more volunteers.

Congressman Rokita released a statement in response to the rally shortly after it started. He said:

“I will always fight for innocent life. We have offered to keep funding for Planned Parenthood if they would commit to not performing abortions. Unfortunately, they would rather continue running America’s largest abortion business. Planned Parenthood currently performs 300,000 abortions per year. I will continue to support community health centers that provide real healthcare and support to women and their unborn children, not abortions.”

The rally runs from 5:30-7 p.m. at 230 N. Fourth St. in downtown Lafayette.