Many Republican politicians have been speaking out on women’s health care after an anti-abortion group recently released several edited videos accusing Planned Parenthood of illicitly selling aborted fetal tissue for medical research.
In response to the commotion, designer Mike Monteiro turned to social media to defend the women’s healthcare provider and challenged impassioned users to put their money where their mouth is.
“Remember, you cannot reason fools out of a place they didn’t reason themselves into. You can, however, donate to [Planned Parenthood] in their names,” wrote Mr. Monteiro, a popular Twitter user with over 50,000 followers.
But one supporter was already one step ahead of him, having donated $25 to Planned Parenthood’s Rocky Mountains chapter “in honor of Jeb Bush.”
The organization received the donation Tuesday evening after the Florida governor addressed a Southern Baptist Convention event in Nashville saying, “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.”
Other abortion advocates jumped on board soon after and offered pledges in the name of several Republican politicians.
Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul top the list of honorary mentions so far, reports The Washington Post. Supporters also donated in honor of Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), as she drafted the bill calling for Planned Parenthood funds to be redirected to community health centers for women's medical services.
So far, all of the donations have been made to the organizations’ national chapter, most of them amounting to under $100, Planned Parenthood’s Liz Clark told the Post. But pledges are likely being sent to other branches as well.
Some have also been made in the name of David Daleiden and his organization, the Center for Medical Progress. The group is behind the edited undercover videos aiming to expose Planned Parenthood of unlawful activity and entice the public against the women’s healthcare provider.
While their controversial footage outraged anti-abortionists across the country, it also encouraged abortion advocates to show their support and donate to Planned Parenthood, reports the Huffington Post.
“The benefit of having been a women’s health care provider for 99 years, and to being somebody who's been there in the lives of one in five American women, is that when people come after Planned Parenthood, people tend to not like that, and it actually has the opposite effect,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, told The Washington Post.
“More people send money, more people ask what they can do to help, more people come to us for health care.”
But the more people offer to help the women’s healthcare provider, the more its opponents push back.
On Monday, Democrats blocked the defunding bill from moving forward and conservative Republicans responded by claiming they could attach a similar rider to must-pass legislation in the fall, threatening a government shutdown, The Christian Science Monitor reported.
While women’s healthcare continues to drive political, economical and satirical debates, Planned Parenthood’s Ms. Clark says its supporters haven’t overlooked what’s at the core of the issue.
"I think it’s important to note that we’re seeing more people writing in with messages of support for Planned Parenthood and the work we do than taking jabs at politicians," Clark said.