A crowd of Planned Parenthood supporters paraded down Northwest 10th Ave. on Saturday, toting pink signs and celebrating when cars honked their horns.
The march was one of 50 demonstrations around the world, including one in Pakistan, to protest a federal budget amendment that passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 19.
The amendment would eliminate the Title X program, enacted in 1970 to fund comprehensive family planning and related preventative health services to people in need.
Congress appropriated more than $300 million in funding to the program in 2010.
Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of North Florida, said the program funds annual exams, contraceptive services, and cancer and STD screenings for more than five million people each year.
“Planned Parenthood is a community-based provider of life-saving primary and preventative health care,” she said. “For many Americans, our doctors and nurses are the only health care providers they see.”
Mayor Craig Lowe was among about 150 supporters who attended the event.
“The loss of reproductive freedom is on the line more than it has ever been before,” he said at the rally. “We need to fight back. Now is the time. If we wait, it will be too late.”