Police break up protest aimed at Planned Parenthood - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police break up protest aimed at Planned Parenthood

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Memphis police broke up a protest against Planned Parenthood, saying the group did not get a permit to hold the rally.

A city ordinance makes it illegal for a group of 25 or more to protest an event without approval from the City of Memphis.

The rally was part of a national call to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood, and it came after a controversial video hit the internet.

The video featured a woman who said she was a Planned Parenthood employee. The group who recorded the hidden camera video said it showed her planning to sell body parts from fetuses.

However, Planned Parenthood officials said the Center for Medical Progress edited the video so it would appear the woman was talking about selling body parts.

"I want to be really clear, the allegations that Planned Parenthood profits in any way from tissue donation is not true," said Cecile Richards.

The protest was called the Woman’s Betrayed Rally of Memphis. Protestors lined the streets around Planned Parenthood’s Memphis Headquarters, calling for lawmakers to defund the agency, which provides abortions, among other health services for women.

Planned Parenthood gets more than $500 million in federal government funding every year.

"For decades, Planned Parenthood has been deceiving women," said rally co-organizer Sharon Masterson.

Three percent of the organization's money goes toward abortion services, according to the group's most recent annual report. STD testing and contraception take up the majority of the group's budget.

Critics, including Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, are calling for the end of federal funding to the group.

Protesters insist that the federal government investigate Planned Parenthood practices and place limits on the agency’s funding.

"Why do they need government funding to begin with? They don't need this kind of thing,” said protester James White.

Copyright 2015 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

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