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Protesters gather at Planned Parenthood in Salt Lake City to call for an end to abortion

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Posted at 5:53 PM, Apr 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-23 19:53:01-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Around 30 people gathered outside Planned Parenthood in Salt Lake City Saturday afternoon to send a message: abolish abortion.

The protesters joined hundreds of people across the country for a national protest against Planned Parenthood, organized by #ProtestPP.

#ProtestPP calls itself a coalition made up of state and national pro-life groups. A small but mighty crowd stood their ground, as their cheers and chants echoed outside the clinic.

"We love babies, yes we do! We love babies, how about you!" sang the mixture of adult and kid protesters in unison.

"They are taking a life, and they need to realize that," protester Patience Kunz said.

ProLife Utah, who organized the local rally, stated it wanted to put an end to taxpayer subsidies for Planned Parenthood. The group's leaders are calling for people to vote for candidates this year who promise to do just that.

"A baby in the womb deserves the same rights and protections that the rest of us do," said ProLife Utah President Mary Taylor.

She said in addition to calling for an end to legal abortion, she said the protest was meant to show support for David Daleiden.

Daleiden faces criminal charges after releasing videos last year that supposedly showed Planned Parenthood officials talking about harvesting and selling tissue from aborted fetuses. 

Planned Parenthood has said the videos were secretly recorded, heavily edited and falsely portrayed the organization's participation in tissue donation programs.

The Salt Lake City clinic stayed open on Saturday, and patients walked in and out a few yards away from the protest.

CEO of Planned Parenthood Association of Utah Karrie Galloway gave FOX 13 a statement that reads:

"Today and every day, Planned Parenthood's top priority is the health and safety of our patients. For the women, men, and young people we serve, the care we provide isn't about politics -- it's about their well-being. Our dedicated health center staff work to ensure that women and families are able to access affordable, high-quality health care in a safe and caring environment. That's what we're focused on today -- and every day.

"These protests are designed to shame the patients who seek basic health care services from Planned Parenthood and to intimidate the health care professionals who work here. The bottom line is that everyone should be able to get health care without fear of violence, harassment, or intimidation."

The people supporting ProLife Utah said more than anything, they wanted to spread awareness.

"I hope that they all just branch out... do their research, learn a little about it," Kunz said.