NEW HAVEN--More than 150 people gathered on the New Haven Town Green on Tuesday for national Pink Out Day to highlight the need for basic reproductive health care offered by Planned Parenthood.
"I'm angry and frustrated and terribly disappointed because I feel this conversation should have been over 25 years ago," said New Haven resident Ruth Lambert.
The event, which was organized by Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, was intended to show "extremist politicians in Washington" that residents in the state support Planned Parenthood and are against defunding the "critical health care" the organization's locations provide to 2.7 million people annually.
“These continued attacks by extremist politicians on women’s health are part of a dangerous agenda to roll back access to reproductive health care and ban abortion leaving millions of patients across the country devastated by stripping them of the basic health care they need," said Judy Tabar president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. "Women and men in Connecticut are lifting up their voices and their stories to let Congress know they stand with Planned Parenthood.”
Other events held in the state were on college campuses, including Connecticut College, Eastern Connecticut State University and Wesleyan University.
More than 250 events were held across the country for Pink Out Day. Some events were rallies, like the one in New haven, while others were sex education courses and/or free STD testing. The goal was to "demonstrate the essential role Planned Parenthood plays in the community."
New Haven Mayor Toni Harp joined Judy Tabar and about 200 supporters and activists to rally for Planned Parenthood.
Mayor Harp said, "What this does is it says that this is a cause that we should all be involved in. It’s not just a debate that’s happening in Washington, it’s one that will impact lives here in Connecticut."
"Today we came together as a community to stand up for women and families across Connecticut who rely on Planned Parenthood for essential, preventive reproductive health care, like birth control, cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment and well-woman exams,” said Tabar.
While most were there to support the cause, there was a much smaller group counter-protesting with signs with messages like, "The body inside your body is not your body," and "Abortion is child sacrifice."