- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Organizers for the Women’s March on Washington, scheduled for the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, announced Tuesday that Planned Parenthood is joining as a key partner and Gloria Steinem and Harry Belafonte will serve as honorary co-chairs.

Originally billed as the Million Woman March, the Jan. 21 Women’s March now has more than 70 partners, including the Center for Reproductive Rights, Amnesty International and the NAACP, New York magazine reported.

“This is an historic moment to come together to protect the progress we’ve made,” Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said in a statement. “We will send a strong message to the incoming administration that millions of people across this country are prepared to fight attacks on reproductive health care, abortion services, and access to Planned Parenthood, as they intersect with the rights of young people, people of color, immigrants, and people of all faiths, backgrounds, and incomes.”

Planned Parenthood will help with staffing, planning efforts, and safety plans, Gothamist reported. Ms. Steinem and Mr. Belafonte, both social activists, will add some star power to the event.

“We know that we stand on the shoulders of giants, and we are thrilled to welcome Ms. Steinem and Mr. Belafonte as honorary co-chairs,” said co-chair Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York. “Alongside our new partner Planned Parenthood, together we are bridging the historical struggles for women’s rights and civil rights to the current intersectional movement for dignity and human rights.”

Ms. Steinem said in a statement, “I am proud to be one of thousands who will come to Washington to make clear that we will keep working for a democracy in which we are linked as human beings, not ranked by race or gender or class or any other label.”

The march is scheduled to start at Independence Avenue and Third Street SW, near the U.S. Capitol, at 10 a.m. on Jan. 21, one day after Mr. Trump takes office. Sister marches are also taking place at more than 30 different cities in the U.S. and 15 different countries around the world.

“The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us — women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault,” reads a Facebook description for the Washington, D.C., event. “In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore.”

More than 156,000 people have RSVP’d to the D.C. event on Facebook. 

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