COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – About 200 people gathered for a pro-life rally at the Ohio Statehouse Tuesday.
It was one of several dozen rallies planned for cities across the country in the wake of the release of hidden camera videos this month that appear to show senior Planned Parenthood officials talking about harvesting and pricing of fetal tissue and body parts.
Planned Parenthood says the videos have been heavily edited to misrepresent the truth. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio CEO Stephanie Kight issued a statement saying, “While a shrill minority uses deplorable tactics, from deceptive videos to hate filled rallies, to attack the care women and our partners depend on us for every day, we have been and will continue to be there with compassionate care.”
The statehouse rally attracted several high ranking Ohio Republicans, including Auditor Dave Yost, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, Senate President Keith Faber and Secretary of State Jon Husted.
“I felt both as an adoptee, as a parent, and as a public policy maker that I had to speak out about it and let people know that this practice has to be stopped,” Husted told NBC4.
Sandy Theis, Executive Director of Progress Ohio, said the rallies are the continuation of a longstanding effort to chip away at Planned Parenthood’s funding.
“There have been people all around that want to defund Planned Parenthood and they’ve been unable to do it by telling the truth so they are resorting to stranger and stranger and bigger and bigger lies and this is the strangest and biggest of them all,” Theis said.
Amid the sea of Republican officials at the Statehouse rally, Democratic Rep. Bill Patmon from Cleveland told the crowd he is sponsoring legislation to cut off all public funding to Planned Parenthood in Ohio.
“Women’s healthcare is what the money is for,” Patmon said. “It is not for abortions – if that’s your primary way of doing business. It seems to me these latest videos show that is the primary business of Planned Parenthood.”
Kight called the legislation an attack on the women and families, not just Planned Parenthood.
“The legislation introduced today only underscores the fact that lawmakers are willing to compromise the health and well being of Ohio’s women for political gain,” Kight said.