Former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson, Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans and Pastor Antoine Barriere of Household of Faith joined with hundreds of pro-life advocates today for a rally to oppose a new Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in New Orleans.
According to Planned Parenthood, the $4.2 million 7,000 square feet facility is scheduled to open in 2014.
“From legislative testimony and their own material, Planned Parenthood has indicated they will perform abortions for the first time in Louisiana at the Claiborne Avenue facility. Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion business in the U.S., performed 333,964 abortions in 2011,” organizers noted.
Johnson said of her experience at Planned Parenthood, “I was the Director of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Texas run by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, the same Planned Parenthood affiliate now planning to build an abortion facility on Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans. In that position, my supervisors pressured me to increase revenue by increasing the number of abortion at our facility.”
She filed a lawsuit against Planned Parenthood in 2009 claiming its Texas affiliate knowingly sent in approximately $6 million in false claims to Medicaid.
Johnson added: “At one time, I thought Planned Parenthood was good for women. However, as I saw first – hand, their primary interest is to sell more abortion rather than evaluate what the woman really needs . As a native Louisianian, I want the people of New Orleans to know that more Planned Parenthood means more abortion.”
Archbishop Gregory Aymond of the Archdiocese of New Orleans stated: “For the past few years, the Archdiocese of New Orleans has focused on bringing an end to violence, murder, and racism in New Orleans. A Planned Parenthood abortion facility will take us further away from the peaceful future New Orleans needs. Violence is violence, whether on our streets or in the womb. I encourage people of faith and goodwill to stand for peace over violence in all its forms.”
Pastor Fred Luter Jr., Pastor at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church and President of the Southern Baptist Convention, said: “Growing up in New Orleans, I’ve seen how much violence hurts our community. I also know the struggles our citizens have to access genuine and affordable health care. While Planned Parenthood claims to be a genuine health care option for women, what many people don’t know is that Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion business. By increasing the number of abortions in New Orleans, Planned Parenthood will damage the lives of the women, families, and unborn babies of our city.
The Nola Needs Peace Coalition, a growing group of churches and community organizations committed to building a peaceful New Orleans without abortion, sponsored the event to oppose a Planned Parenthood regional abortion center on Claiborne Ave.
“It is so important at this time for us to peacefully stand together for authentic women’s healthcare, and to tell the world that Nola Needs Peace, Not More Abortion,” the group said.
The groups behind the effort to stop the abortion center are running a television ad campaign featuring Johnson that started late last week. This television campaign will run for three weeks on WWL, WVUE, WGNO, WDSU, WHNO and additional television stations.
The television ads will promote the message of the NOLA Needs Peace Campaign: “More Planned Parenthood=More Abortion.”
In addition, Johnson is assisting the NOLA Needs Peace Coalition in their mission to educate residents that a new Planned Parenthood facility will only add to the violence that occurs in New Orleans.
Benjamin Clapper, a leader of the NOLA Needs Peace Coalition, stated, “Across the nation, the facts are clear: more Planned Parenthood means more abortion. Without question, a Planned Parenthood abortion facility on Claiborne Avenue will increase the number of abortions in New Orleans. New Orleans needs peace, not more abortion.”
While Planned Parenthood does offer services other than abortion, Clapper mentioned, “these services are readily available in New Orleans. We are working with groups and churches to see these services better promoted.”