Supporters of Planned Parenthood delivered a pink paper chain of 5,626 links to Rep. Erik Paulsen’s office on Tuesday to prompt the Congressman to rethink his vote on health care.
Each link in the chain represents a human being living in the third district that would have been blocked access to needed medical treatment if the bill Paulsen voted for became law. Paulsen voted for the American Health Care Act defunded Planned Parenthood and gutted Affordable Care Act. The bill was later blocked in the Senate by a coalition of Democrats and Republicans. The Planned Parenthood fund says Paulsen’s vote would have prevented cancer screens, contraception, physicals and needed health examinations for 5,626 of his constituents.
The chain was so large it needed to be reassembled in the parking lot of Paulsen’s office before it was carried by more than a dozen people up the stairwell to his office.
Paulsen’s aides did not allow cameras inside his office as the chain was delivered. But as The UpTake’s camera watched through the door organizers stated their case.
“Representative Paulsen is on record for voting to take away health care for millions and to defund Planned Parenthood. So what we have here is we’re delivering a paper chain to represent the 5,626 patients that would have been hurt that live in his district, that would have been hurt by that, by not being able to get high quality good health care from Planned Parenthood.”
Republicans want to cut funding to Planned Parenthood because it provides abortion services. However, under current law none of the federal funding Planned Parenthood receives can legally be spent on abortion services. Planned Parenthood says that 80% of its patients receive services to prevent unintended pregnancy and 3% of its services are for abortions.