Protesters speak out against grant money for Bloomington Planned Parenthood

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Aug. 26, 2015) -- Dozens of protesters showed up at a Monroe County meeting this week to try and dissuade the county from handing out a grant to a Bloomington Planned Parenthood clinic.

"(We're) not surprised but extremely disappointed and sad," 40 Days for Life local director Monica Siefker said.

Siefker made those comments a day after county officials decided to award the grant money, despite around an hour of passionate testimony Tuesday.

"A lot of us are just very tired of our tax dollars going to fund something that goes against our very consciences, that we ourselves would not pull out money and donate to," Siefker said.

The grant, totaling $3,000, was awarded as part of a large block of money devoted to non-profit groups and community organizations. It's been awarded before and Planned Parenthood has received money from Monroe County and Bloomington in past years.

At least one councilor likened the increased protests to national controversy over Planned Parenthood, stemming from undercover videos posted by a pro-life group.

Patti Stauffer, the VP of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, told FOX59 that the grant money will not go to abortion procedures.

"It will be used to offset the cost of long-acting reversible contraceptives, or LARCs, STD testing and treatment and cancer screenings for low-income and uninsured women," Stauffer said.

Stauffer also said Monroe County in particular has been supportive.

"We’ve had a long-standing positive relationship with the city of Bloomington and the Bloomington community. We’ve been providing women’s health services there for over 50 years," Stauffer said.

Siefker and fellow protester Dr. Adam Spaetti, though, said they plan to keep speaking up.

"They don’t have a voice often and so I wanted to be a voice for all of the babies that are affected by what Planned Parenthood does," Spaetti said.

"We were there to plant seeds and to keep this conversation going," Siefker said.