FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno's city council approved $1 million in funding from the state for Planned Parenthood Thursday in a 5-1 vote that prompted a lot of emotional and impassioned comments from the public and cursing from a council member.
Conversations about abortion and Planned Parenthood divide communities.
The division took center stage at Fresno's City Hall Thursday as the city council prepared for a vote on approving state funding to Planned Parenthood through the city.
"You really shouldn't let your personal or religious beliefs affect the health needs of our people," said Planned Parenthood volunteer Hanna Krebs.
"I think for the majority of the work that they do is abortion, which is the murder of the innocents," said Fresno pastor Kelley Gill. "I resent the fact that my tax dollars are being used to kill the unborn."
Abortion is not the majority of what Planned Parenthood does.
The 501(c)(3) charity's leadership claims abortion makes up 3% of its work. A Washington Post fact check put the actual number more likely between 7% and 14%.
Planned Parenthood also provides birth control alternatives and health screenings.
The health center on Fulton Street serves more than 12,000 patients every year and most of them live in poverty.
One pastor asked people opposing the $1 million in state funding to imagine the impact that would have on women who need testing for cancer, for example.
"It's about women, women who are poor, women who are BIPOC, who will die from cancer because money was withheld that could save their life," said Tim Kutzmark. "I believe that's what it means to be pro-life."
Councilmember Garry Bredefeld was alone on the dais in opposition.
"I'll support cancer screening," he said. "I always do. I'll support everything but abortion. But the reality is Planned Parenthood is all about abortion and anything else is a bunch of bullsh**."
Mayor Jerry Dyer says he'll veto the funding item, but it'll be symbolic.
The item passed with five votes from the council, which is enough to override any veto.