Demonstrators form human chain around Capitol to protest GOP healthcare bill

Planned Parenthood supporters and other opponents of the Republican effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare formed a human chain around the Capitol Wednesday afternoon in a massive protest amid GOP attempts to save their healthcare bill.

Demonstrators held signs reading "Stand with Planned Parenthood" and "Don't Take Away Our Care" while chanting "healthcare, now!" The goal of the protest was to form a continuous human chain around the entire Capitol.

The protest was organized by Planned Parenthood and liberal activist group MoveOn.org, which promoted the protest on Twitter leading up to the demonstration.

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The protest was also promoted by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who promised on Twitter that she would be attending.

Thousands of protesters had joined the march less than an hour after it was scheduled to begin. Protesters with massive Planned Parenthood banners and megaphones led chants, while other Planned Parenthood volunteers in special vests directed protesters. 

Multiple lawmakers, dressed in black and wearing mourning veils, held a simultaneous "funeral" for Medicaid on the Capitol steps. The “mourners” included Democratic Reps. John Lewis (Ga.), Frederica WilsonFrederica WilsonOvernight Regulation: House bill to roll back labor board rules advances | New Treasury sanctions against North Korea | Watchdog finds fraud in FCC internet program GOP bill to roll back labor relations board rules advances in House Demonstrators form human chain around Capitol to protest GOP healthcare bill MORE (Fla.) and Joyce BeattyJoyce BeattyDemonstrators form human chain around Capitol to protest GOP healthcare bill Washingtonians take center stage at Will on the Hill Trump should work with Congress to block regulations on prepaid cards MORE (Ohio), among others. 

Republicans are currently working to find a compromise to pass their version to repeal ObamaCare. Nine GOP senators have already announced their opposition to the Senate's version of the bill, forcing Senate leadership to delay the vote until after the July 4 recess.

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Senate Republicans can only afford two GOP defections, assuming no Democrats vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Last week, Planned Parenthood held similar rallies against the Senate bill in at least 20 states. The bill in its current state would defund Planned Parenthood for a year.

"As the Senate drafts its Trumpcare bill behind closed doors, with no hearings, the public is making its voice heard," Planned Parenthood said last week in a statement. 

—Taylor Lorenz contributed.