On the heels of Republican lawmakers’ effort to slash federal funding from Planned Parenthood for a year, thousands of Americans online have been throwing their support behind the reproductive health service group.
The hashtags #IStandWithPP and #StandWithPP each generated more than 12,000 tweets each as of late Friday afternoon. "Planned Parenthood" in particular had been mentioned more than 50,000 times. The growing defense of the organization came hours after Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed the "Defund Planned Parenthood Act," which would strip the women’s health provider of its funding for contraception, pap smears, and testing for sexually-transmitted infections unless it stops performing abortions.
Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders tweeted their support and criticized Republicans' attempts to defund the group. Sanders called it a “right-wing attack against women.” President Barack Obama has repeatedly vowed to veto any bill to defund the group, a move that could potentially trigger a government shutdown on Oct. 1. Still, some GOP lawmakers maintained that they would not vote for any budget that includes funding for the organization.