Members of the "Crusaders for Life" pro-life youth group rally Feb. 11 against Planned Parenthood in Aurora, Ill. It was one of many nationwide rallies calling on Congress to end federal funding of Planned Parenthood. (CNS photo/courtesy Sam Scheidler)
CHICAGO (CNS) -- The organizers of rallies held across the country Feb. 11 to call for defunding Planned Parenthood said their message to Congress is to redirect taxpayer's money to facilities that "do a better job meeting the real health care needs of women and families without specializing in abortion."
More than 15,000 people attended 229 rallies held in 45 states. Average attendance was around 75, but in some cities, crowds numbered as high as 600, according to a new release issued after the rallies.
Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League in Chicago, was the national organizer of the rallies, or #ProtestPP. Other groups coordinating the events included Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Created Equal, 40 Days for Life and the Susan B. Anthony List.
"This is a nationwide event, but at the same time, it is a local community concern," Schiedler said in a statement. In rallying to tell "Congress to quit sending money to an organization that specializes in killing children," participants also declared "that they do not want Planned Parenthood to continue operating in their neighborhoods."