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Others have suggested that it is time to move onto to bigger fights, including 2012 budget and whether to raise the country’s borrowing limit.

“I think both sides need to understand that nobody has complete control of the elected government, so neither side is going to get everything they’d like,” Sen. Patrick Toomey, said Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” talk show.

The Pennsylvania Republican said: “I’d like to defund Planned Parenthood, but I understand that Republicans don’t have complete control of the elected government, so I think what we should do is cut spending as much as we can, get the policy changes that we can, but move on because there are other bigger battles that we ought to be fighting.”

Congress has been subject to intense lobbying pro and con on the issue as the spending endgame played out. On Thursday some 4,000 women came to a pro-choice rally on Capitol Hill to “stop the war on women.”

Cecile Richard, president of Planned Parenthood, called it “the most politically driven assault on women’s health in American history.” PPFA, she added, offers millions of women affordable cancer screenings, birth control, and sexual disease testing and treatment.

“This event forced Congress to notice that women’s rights cannot be sacrificed,” added Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

But Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said House members were right to defund “a scandal-plagued abortion organization.”

What goes on “behind the windowless offices” is sad enough, he said, “but the fact that it has often been done with taxpayer dollars is indefensible.”

“It is unconscionable that House Speaker [John] Boehner would shut down the government — and cause economic harm to millions — to advance an extreme ideological agenda: preventing women from obtaining essential health care, including birth control, Pap tests, and breast cancer screenings,” Marcia D. Greenberger of the National Women’s Law Center said Friday.

Pro-life groups were equally busy contacting allies.

“Why is it reasonable to shut down the government in order to protect Planned Parenthood?” asked Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, which has spent more than $500,000 on its campaign to defund PPFA.