Update: Planned Parenthood opponents hold demonstration

Update: Friday, Feb. 25 at 10:20 p.m.:

On Thursday, Planned Parenthood rallied at the State Capitol in protest of the U.S. House vote to strip funding for the agency.

Friday, people who support that move demonstrated outside Sen. Claire McCaskill's Columbia office.

These are the same people who often demonstrate outisde the Columbia Planned Parenthood building. They oppose abortion, and they want McCaskill to vote with the House when the budget comes to the Senate.

"I ask her to make a responsible choice, not give money to a corrupt organization and defund Planned Parenthood," said Tim Morris, one of the anti-abortion demonstrators.

They say cutting funding for Planned Parenthood won't limit a woman's access to health care.

"Just a block away from Planned Parenthood in Columbia, there's a place that does free pregnancy tests, free ultrasounds," Mary Hoffmeyere described.

"Women and girls would be better served by going elsewhere for their health care needs," said Joanne Schrader.

Both federal and state law prohibit the use of pubilc funds for abortion services. Planned Parenthood charges a fee for those services.

On Thursday, the agency's spokesperson insisted the dollars do not overlap.

"We're doing our best to educate the public that abortion is not paid for through any taxpayer money," Michelle Trupiano said Thursday. Trupiano is a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood.

Kathy Forck, one of the anti-abortion demonstrators doesn't believe that.

"It's not true that the money isn't going for abortions," Forck said. "It's keeping the lights on. It's keeping the building going."

Carolyn Marshall agreed. "They're just cooking the books. Bottom line is that money enabling them to do abortions," she said.

McCaskill's office sent KRCG this statement from the senator:"We all have to work at making cuts in the federal budget. But as a senator who believes contraceptive services must be available to all women, the cuts make no sense. These cuts will cause more abortions, not prevent them."

Update on Feb. 25 at 10:50 a.m.: Proponents of the proposed Planned Parenthood funding cut is holding a vigil in Columbia on Friday. The vigil will be held at noon in front of Sen. Claire McCaskill's office.40 Days for Life is sponsoring the vigil."We are joining the Expose Planned Parenthood Coalition in asking people of faith and conscience to participate in these peaceful prayer vigils from coast to coast," said Kathy Forck, Co-director of the Columbia 40 Days for Life. "We ask God to bless our government leaders with the strength and courage to defend and protect the unborn, their parents, and all who are abused by child sex trafficking. When they vote next week, we pray that our Senators will join our Representatives in voting to de-fund Planned Parenthood."Original Story:A proposed funding cut for Planned Parenthood has women's health advocates fired up in Jefferson City.The proposed cut was approved by the United States House of Representatives. The $330 million funding cut included government subsidies included in each year's budget. The agency believes a cut that large could close up to 500 clinics across the country. That has Missouri legislators and women's health advocates concerned."On behalf of the 80,000 Missourians who will come through Planned Parenthood doors this year, we are grateful that these legislators are speaking out against these extreme proposals in support of women's health and Planned Parenthood," said Michelle Trupiano, Planned Parenthood lobbyist.The organization has 17 Missouri clinics. Generations of Missouri women have gone to the clinics for contraceptives and counseling."My mother was too embarassed to talk to me, as many parents often are when the topic is sex," said Lisa Sanning, a Planned Parenthood patient. "My high school certainly wasn't providing me with information."Aside from family planning services, the clinics provide general women's health services, including screenings for STDs and Pap Smears for cancer."These are things that my constituents rely on and Planned Parenthood has been there for years, providing them at reduced rates or free of charge," Kansas City Senator Jolie Justus said.The organization also provides abortion services, for which it charges a fee. Neither federal nor state law allow public funds to be used for abortions."I think there are certain anti-choice organizations and lawmakers that purposely try to portray that, even though they know that is not true," Trupiano said. "And we're doing our best to educate the public that abortion is not paid for with any taxpayer money."While the House of Representatives has voted in favor of the funding cuts, it would have to be approved by the Senate as well, and some Capitol observers say that is unlikely.They believe the true threat to Planned Parenthood is minimal.Are you in favor of the funding cuts to Planned Parenthood? Do you think the organization provides a needed service to women around the country?