On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast filed an appeal with the state Division of Administrative Law seeking to perform abortions in New Orleans. In January, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) denied their request to perform abortions because Planned Parenthood did not demonstration a need for another abortion facility in Louisiana.
In a letter dated Jan. 8, 2015, DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert wrote to Planned Parenthood: “Your application failed to establish the probability of serious, adverse consequences to recipients’ ability to access outpatient abortion services if you are not allowed to apply for licensure.”
According to Louisiana Right to Life, in October 2014, Planned Parenthood argued in a 74-page document that New Orleans needs 2,844 more abortions on an annual basis. Benjamin Clapper, executive director of Louisiana Right to Life and leader of the Nola Needs Peace Coalition, said the following after reviewing Planned Parenthood’s brief:
“Over the past few years Planned Parenthood has avoided almost all mention of abortion when discussing its new facility currently planned for Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans. They have focused instead on the need for women’s healthcare. Now, in a shockingly blunt and business-like manner, Planned Parenthood is making a case to the state of Louisiana that the New Orleans area needs 2,844 new abortions every year, and that Planned Parenthood is the business to sell those abortions.
He concluded, “As we have said from the outset, more Planned Parenthood in New Orleans will lead to more abortions in New Orleans. This document makes that abundantly clear. Our city needs more peace and more authentic healthcare, not a mega-facility to sell abortion to our citizens.”
However, Planned Parenthood sees the need for an abortion facility very differently. In fact, in an action alert email, Cecile Richards, President and CEO of the abortion giant said this is only the latest attempt from Bobby Jindal’s administration to block access to health care in New Orleans. Richards also promised the citizens of New Orleans that the “health facility” will be built.
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.
As LifeNews previously reported, in 2013 the Louisiana Legislature directed several departments to launch an investigation after Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast was fined $4.3 million for Medicaid fraud in Texas. While the Legislative Auditor found no wrongdoing, investigations by the Department of Health and Inspector General are ongoing.
Then in November 2013, Planned Parenthood Louisiana voluntarily reimbursed the state $33,739.13 after conducting “a self-audit in which they determined that one of their nurses had been writing and issuing prescriptions without proper authority,” according to Alliance Defending Freedom.