Just days after a new report indicated Louisiana is the most pro-life state int he nation for the sixth year in a row, state health department officials have announced they are blocking abortions at an abortion clinic Planned Parenthood is building in New Orleans.
Originally, Planned Parenthood was supposed to open by the end of 2014; however, due to opposition from pro-life Louisianans, including Louisiana Right to Life and the Archdiocese of New Orleans, their efforts have been stalled.
The organization received a rejection letter last week from the Department of Health and Hospitals, which said it didn’t demonstrate the need for another abortion facility in Louisiana.
Abortion rights supporters say the decision is one of a series of actions Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration has taken to create roadblocks for women seeking the procedure in Louisiana.
Melissa Flournoy, Louisiana state director of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, said in a statement Friday that politicians are trying to eliminate access to abortion in the state. She vowed to fight the health department’s decision.
Planned Parenthood can appeal the rejection, or it could file a lawsuit.
Benjamin Clapper, the Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life, commented at the end of last year on the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic:
“Planned Parenthood has not made progress in building their abortion facility on Claiborne Avenue since June 26 of this year. They claimed in 2013 that they would be open by the end of 2014. Clearly that’s not the case. The truth is that their own mistakes of hiring unlicensed contractors have delayed their progress. In addition, subcontractors, especially concrete providers, do not want to work with them because they will destroy innocent babies. Abortions are the reason for their delay.”
The lack of progress on the construction of the abortion facility is a testament to the efforts of Louisianans who won’t be fooled by Planned Parenthood’s rhetoric. Nevertheless, it is critical that pro-lifers continue standing strong because if built, their new facility could perform upwards of 30 abortions a day, increasing the abortion rate in New Orleans and the surrounding parishes.