In the wake of anti-abortion measures in Texas and North Carolina, Planned Parenthood held a rally on Capitol Hill Thursday that attracted Democrats and Republicans alike.
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., energized the crowd of supporters from around the country outfitted in bright pink shirts, signs and umbrellas.
National Co-Chair of Republicans for Planned Parenthood, Randall Moody, came to support the rally. He has been involved with the organization since 1987 and helped it get involved in politics.
"[Planned Parenthood] needs to have a Republican presence," Moody said, adding that there are "millions" of Republicans that support Planned Parenthood.
Immediately following the rally, supporters went to Congress to lobby for abortion rights and women's health. DeLauro urged supporters to stay strong and "do not take 'No' for an answer" when lobbying on the hill, while denouncing the abortion-restricting bills in Texas and North Carolina.
Texas recently passed a bill that bans abortions after 20 weeks, requires all abortions to be performed at ambulatory surgical centers and requires abortion providers to get admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. North Carolina passed a law that restricted insurance coverage for abortions and required abortion clinics to meet the same safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers.
DeLauro called the laws an assault on women's health and "anti-woman," saying that lawmakers are trying to make women second-class citizens.
"They want to force women back into traditional roles with little opportunities," DeLauro said.
Franken thanked Planned Parenthood for the services it provides.
"A woman's right to choose is never fully won," he said, while vowing to continue to fight for reproductive rights.
Jamila Perritt, a doctor for Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, D.C., and Kaori Sueyoshi, a student of the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, also spoke at the rally.
"These bills have nothing to do with protecting women," Perritt said.