Anti-abortion groups rallied at Planned Parenthood clinics in scores of U.S. cities on Saturday to urge Congress and President Donald Trump to strip the health services provider of federal funding.
With organizers expecting protests at up to 225 clinics nationwide, Planned Parenthood supporters in turn organized 150 counter-demonstrations at sites such as city parks, politicians' offices and government buildings.
Supporters also showed up at some clinics where the anti-abortion demonstrations were being staged, and in some cases, outnumbered those who were protesting against federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
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Demonstrations were called in 45 states in cities large and small, including Washington and Philadelphia. As many as 6,000 people turned up for competing demonstrations in St. Paul, Minnesota, according to local police.
In some places, the two sides in the long-simmering issue in U.S. culture wars positioned themselves on opposite sides of the street. Initial reports indicate the rallies were vocal and peaceful.
In the Atlanta suburb of Marietta anti-abortion and abortion-rights groups took opposite sides of a four-lane highway and waved signs at traffic and shouted slogans.
At the competing abortion-rights demonstration, about 50 people gathered and held signs that included: "Women's rights are human rights."
"Trump is going to hear our trumpet call," said anti-abortion activist Sandy Prescott, 61, a homemaker from Roswell, Georgia, who was part of a group of about 100 people calling for defunding Planned Parenthood.