St. Louisans protest in support of Planned Parenthood

ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - A group of about 50 people gathered outside the Planned Parenthood on Forest Park Avenue in the Central West End Saturday to show support for Planned Parenthood staff as well as the 2.5 million men and women who depend on the organization for health services.

Organizers of the peaceful demonstration stressed their message was not a protest of President-elect Donald Trump who some fear may cut funding for Planned Parenthood once he takes office. Vice President-elect Mike Pence has openly proposed to cut funding to Planned Parenthood since at least 2007 citing religious beliefs as the reason.

"We have a red carpet out now, and with that comes extremely conservative views and, for me, it is important that church and state are separated," said event organizer and activist Madeline Crowe.

Demonstrators hoped to educate the public about the many services available at Planned Parenthood besides contraception and abortion.

"(Planned Parenthood serves) 2.5 million Americans every year. Only three percent of those services are abortion services," said event organizer and activist June Ann D'Angelo.

Crowe said she has received cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood that she wouldn't have been able to afford elsewhere.

The event was created and shared via social media.

To learn about future demonstrations in the St. Louis area, visit the #ImWithThemSTL Facebook page.