Protesters hold a pair of rallies focused on Planned Parenthood

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Supporters and opponents of Planned Parenthood held separate rallies in Rhode Island Thursday.

About 50 abortion opponents picketed the former Pawtucket office of Congressman David Cicilline over his vote against defunding Planned Parenthood.

The protest was organized by a group called the Susan B. Anthony List, which is travelling by bus to hold similar demonstrations in seven states.

Former Colorado congresswoman and Susan B. Anthony spokeswoman Marilyn Musgrave was asked why Cicilline and a dozen others are being targeted when 185 representatives voted the same way.

"We chose districts where we think it's most appropriate to give that clear message," says Musgrave. "There were 240 votes in the House to defund Planned Parenthood and we hope that Cicilline will listen to the pro-life people in his district."

At a rally in Providence, Planned Parenthood of southern New England president Judy Tabar countered that her organization does more than any in the country to prevent unintended pregnancy and reduce the need for abortion.

"So it's hard to imagine why people who are opposed to abortion would work so hard to undermine family planning when family planning reduces the need for abortion," says Tabar.

Cicilline's spokeswoman Jessica Kershaw says the congressman, "believes that a concerted attempt to cut funding for Planned Parenthood health centers puts in risk the lives of women in Rhode Island and across the nation who seek care there not only for reproductive health services but also preventative services including mammograms and other cancer screenings."

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