Democratic Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) on Wednesday likened Planned Parenthood supporters to American veterans who "stormed the beaches of Normandy" during World War II.
Booker made the comment during a Planned Parenthood rally in Washington, D.C., where protesters voiced opposition to the Senate Republican health care bill, which would block Medicaid funds for the organization of abortion-providing clinics for at least one year.
"Your country needs you," Booker told rallygoers. "This is our generation's great moral moment."
The senator said that opposing the Senate GOP health care bill is "a chance for us to stand in front of the forces that want to twist and contort the ideals of our country, to being a place for the rich and the privileged, and where the many of us suffer and struggle — that is not the American calling; that is not the American character."
In another part of the speech, Booker likened Planned Parenthood supporters to American World War II heroes at Normandy:
We may not be called to storm beaches in Normandy. That was not our time. We may not be called to stand with Sojourner truth and utter those words, "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired." We may not be called to stand in the slums with Irish immigrants who fought for labor rights that we now take for granted. We may not be called to march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge with John Lewis and other activists, facing tear gas and billy clubs. Those were not our days. But today is our day.
Booker called upon Planned Parenthood supporters to "summon the strength" of American civil rights icons and "fight with their determination."
I call upon you to summon the strength of Frederick Douglass, to summon the strength of a Harriet Tubman, to summon the strength of a Cesar Chavez, to summon the strength of a Harvey Milk. This is the time for us to summon the strength of our ancestors and fight with their determination, and fight with their will, and fight with their love, with their love, with their love.