Pro-life supporters protest outside Memphis Planned Parenthood

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Pro-life supporters lined Poplar Avenue in front of Planned Parenthood Saturday morning, holding signs reading, “pray to end abortion” and “stop abortion now."

It was part of a nationwide movement urging Congress and President Donald Trump to defund the organization.

"I think life is important," said supporter Bryan Shaver, who says his grandmother became an unwed mother at the age of 16.

40 Days for Life – the organization that helped organize the Memphis rally – wants the government funds given to federally qualified health centers that don’t perform abortions.

"All life is sacred," said Libby Parks, a volunteer for 40 Days for Life. "All of us have a potential to live in this world. God gave us the life and he wants us to live it to our potential, which could be great."

According to Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report, it receives $553.7 million a year in government funding, most of which comes from Medicaid and the rest from Title X, programs targeted at lower-income Americans.

But activists say they'd rather see that money go elsewhere.

"If you have health insurance, you have access to birth control. So what’s the need for Planned Parenthood?" Shaver said. "I don’t get it. We’re funding something that I just do not understand."

Supporters also argue that Planned Parenthood provides more abortions than anything else.

"Planned Parenthood, the majority of their business is abortion," Shaver said.

But Planned Parenthood says only 3 percent of the services it provided during the 2014-2015 year were abortions.

The majority of the services it provides are STD screenings, contraception, cancer screenings and prevention, and other women’s health services, according to its annual report.

Still, protesters aren’t backing down.

40 Days for Life will be back in front of Planned Parenthood for 40 days straight starting next month, hoping to convince women going inside to reconsider their decision.

"A baby's heart starts beating at 21 days after conception." Parks said. "That little tiny thing is so little, nobody can see it, but the heart is beating. That's incredible."

Planned Parenthood responded to Saturday's rallies in a statement on its website, saying:

"Nineteen polls have shown overwhelmingly that Americans support Planned Parenthood. And even 50 percent of Trump's own supporters do not want to see Planned Parenthood defunded."