Capitol Alert

Actress Lena Dunham joins Planned Parenthood rally at Capitol

Lena Dunham arrives at the 32nd Annual Paleyfest held at The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on March 8, 2015. Dunham is speaking out against calls from Republicans in Congress to cut funding to Planned Parenthood.
Lena Dunham arrives at the 32nd Annual Paleyfest held at The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on March 8, 2015. Dunham is speaking out against calls from Republicans in Congress to cut funding to Planned Parenthood. AP

Nearly a month after Lena Dunham ignited controversy with an abortion joke that missed its mark, the creator and star of HBO’s “Girls” is speaking at a Planned Parenthood rally at the state Capitol today.

Dunham joins forces with legislative leaders Anthony Rendon and Kevin de León and Democrat mega-donor Tom Steyer at a “Pink Out Day” event in support of the health care provider and the nearly 1 million women it serves in California.

The rally is in response to calls from a Republican-dominated Congress to cut all federal funding to the organization and its affilliates. Pro-life GOP leaders have often targeted the health care provider because it offers abortion services to women, although no federal dollars currently pay for the procedures.

Planned Parenthood and its supporters argue that defunding the organization would jeopardize health care services for millions of women across the country who turn to the centers for annual exams, cancer screenings, tests for sexually transmitted diseases and other basic services. The organization says 73 percent of its outposts serve women in rural or under served areas that often lack affordable and easy access to adequate care.

Dunham, a vocal advocate for gender equality and women’s health, will be joined by actors Wilson Cruz and Sasha Alexander. Rendon, de León and Steyer will also speak in support of the organization. The rally begins at 11:30 a.m. on the West Steps of the state Capitol.

WORTH-REPEATING: “Winter is coming.”

– Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City, channeling “Game of Thrones” as he urged budgetary caution for California

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PRIORITIES: A bi-partisan group of state legislators, including Rendon, de León, Senate Republican leader Jean Fuller and Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes, will talk about their priorities for the current session today in a discussion with Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California. The talk will be aired in a live webcast at noon, which you can register to watch here.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: A throwback to when a man smashed his big-rig into the south entrance of the state Capitol 16 years ago.

RECEPTION: The Sacramento Press Club and the Capitol Correspondents Association of California are hosting a legislative reception tonight, with Rendon, de León, Mayes and Fuller acting as co-sponsors. The evening event, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Second Floor Rotunda of the Capitol, serves as an opportunity for journalists to mingle with legislators and Capitol staff.

CELEBRATE: Happy belated birthday to Assemblymen Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, who turned 60 Saturday, and Steven Choi, R-Irvine, who celebrated his 73rd birthday on Sunday.

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