DENVER, COLO. (CNA/EWTN News) - Hundreds of demonstrations were held outside of Planned Parenthood clinics across the U.S. this weekend with protesters calling on the federal government to stop funding the abortion giant.
After videos were released last month showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing their fetal tissue donation program in graphic detail, the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League called on a national day of protest.
Eric Scheidler, the group's executive director, said that "with 240 out of 342 cities reporting" over 58,000 people turned out to protest Aug. 22.
"Great day! Except for Planned Parenthood!" he tweeted that evening.
His organization teamed up with other pro-life groups including 40 Days for Life, Created Equal and 40 Days for Life to organize the national protest in a matter of a few weeks.
#ProtestPP was trending on Twitter Saturday as photos of the crowds poured in.
Charmaine Yoest, President and CEO of Americans United for Life, posted photos on Twitter of demonstrations around the country showing crowds of protesters wrapped around city blocks in front of Planned Parenthood facilities.
Lila Rose of Live Action posted along with a collage of protesters holding signs with the slogan "Planned Parenthood sells baby parts" and commented that, "America is waking up and speaking out! May we see a world where every life is protected."
In the videos released by the citizen journalist group Center for Medical Progress, Planned Parenthood officials discussed the collection and transfer of body parts from aborted fetuses, compensation and itemization of the parts, and possible alteration of abortion procedures to obtain more intact specimens.
In the most recent video, a former StemExpress technician described harvesting organs from "the most gestated fetus and closest thing to a baby that I've seen."
The videos have sparked investigation and calls for the removal of funding to Planned Parenthood from both congressional and state legislators and officials. The organization receives more than $500 million a year from the federal government.
Planned Parenthood maintains that it has been acting within federal law, and that any donation of fetal organs of aborted babies are made with the mother's consent and are not done for "valuable consideration."