Planned Parenthood has declared Tuesday National Pink Out Day and plans to offer free testing for sexually transmitted diseases in 28 cities, the New York Times reported. The health organization is pushing back against recent criticism from House Republicans over Planned Parenthood's use of aborted fetuses in medical research.
Other scheduled events for “National Pink Out Day” include a march to the state Capitol in Salt Lake City and an evening vigil in Concord, New Hampshire. Planned Parenthood also said it has bumped up its advertising efforts with a six-figure digital ad buy with its action fund, which includes advertisements on websites for the Washington Post, the New York Times and Politico. The advertisements emphasize Planned Parenthood’s efforts in providing birth control and cancer screenings, as well as defending “reproductive rights.”
House Republicans targeted Planned Parenthood after a series of videos was released, ostensibly showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal tissue. House Republicans announced they are forming a special committee to investigate the controversial videos, which Planned Parenthood said were heavily edited. Republicans want to cut all of the health organization’s federal funding. Some lawmakers have threatened a government shutdown over the matter even though nearly 70 percent of voters said they oppose such a shutdown, a Quinnipiac University poll indicated.
— Miriam Wasser (@MiriamWasser) September 28, 2015
Planned Parenthood expects millions of supporters to rally in the group’s defense, the New York Times reported. Organizations throughout the country already have made plans to celebrate National Pink Out Day: Students at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota, reportedly plan a rally; locals in Ithaca, New York, have planned to wear pink and put up yard signs, and there are more than 200 other National Pink Out Day rallies planned on MoveOn.org.
A House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing is scheduled for Tuesday morning, the New York Times said. The committee had opened its own investigation before the creation of the special committee was announced, and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards is scheduled to testify.