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Thousands in St. Paul rally for and against Planned Parenthood funding

Some rallied to support Planned Parenthood, others rallied to defund it.

There were rallies planned all across the country Saturday to call on Congress and President Donald Trump to stop giving federal funding to Planned Parenthood. Several marches were planned in Minnesota alone, including one in St. Paul.

The St. Paul rally also attracted thousands of opponents who stood in favor of Planned Parenthood.

Both St. Paul rallies took place at the Planned Parenthood there on Vandalia Street.

Police told the Pioneer Press that about 500 people showed up to call for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, and about 5,500 showed their support for the organization.

What the protests are all about

The website – which has all the information for similar protests around the U.S. – emphasized that the purpose of these protests was to try to get Planned Parenthood defunded.

On the other hand, the counter protesters' goals were to "make sure everyone knows that Planned Parenthood’s doors stay open—no matter what," the Facebook event said.

The website that supports defunding the organization argued, "Planned Parenthood does not deserve our tax dollars." It noted the group receives "$553 million annually from taxpayers, 43 percent of their annual budget."

In 2015, NPR confirmed those numbers using one of Planned Parenthood's annual reports.

Planned Parenthood explains in its blog that most of that funding comes from Medicaid reimbursements, because "at least 60 percent of Planned Parenthood patients rely on public health programs."

According to the latest annual report, 3 percent of the services the organization provided were abortions – 45 percent were STD testings and 31 percent had to do with contraception.

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