The night before the Senate plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act was unveiled, revealing a year-long ban on Planned Parenthood funding and deep cuts to critical programs like Medicaid, activists around the country gathered to protest the onslaught of attacks on women’s health by the Trump administration.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund organized the day of action—called a Pink Out—and urged activists to “turn the internet pink, and show up in cities and towns across the country wearing pink.” Activists responded in kind, uniting in seas of pink shirts and signs to defend the women’s healthcare provider and demand health care justice from lawmakers. Buildings coast-to-coast turned pink in solidarity. Those who could not participate flooded social media with the #PinkOutTheNight hashtag and called their representatives.
“Your presence here is critical,” Celinda Vasquez, vice president of external affairs at Planned Parenthood, said at the Los Angeles rally Wednesday night. “You’re sending a message at these final hours that we will not back down. We will not go back. We proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with all of you who are committed to keeping our community safe, healthy, and treated with the respect and dignity we each deserve.”
Senate leaders plan to bring the so-called Better Care Reconciliation Act to a vote next week. A provision in the legislation temporarily banning funding for Planned Parenthood would deny millions of low-income women access to cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment and other critical family planning and sexual health services.
Sarah Bradshaw, Political Director at Feminist Majority, urged the crowd in Los Angeles to take action globally—not just locally—since the stakes are high across the country. “We have to go to other states and other congressional districts and find the time, find the way that you can get to places that need you more than California,” she said. “We’re black, we’re brown, we’re short, we’re tall, we’re young, we’re old, we’re wise. Together, we’re going to fight this dreaded Trumpcare.” Feminist Majority is organizing against attempts to undo the gains women achieved under the Affordable Care Act as part of their Feminist Fight Back campaign.