Planned Parenthood files lawsuit seeking license to provide abortions to women in New Orleans
Last week, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC), which operates two clinics in Louisiana, filed a lawsuit against the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) for it’s unconstitutional attempts to prevent the clinics from providing comprehensive reproductive healthcare services, including abortion. Lift Louisiana fully supports this challenge, which is now the fifth lawsuit pending against LDH’s burdensome and unconstitutional attacks on reproductive health and abortion providers.
PPGC, PP Center for Choice (PPCfC), and three patients explain in the complaint to what lengths anti-abortion criminal activists, legislators and agency officials have gone to prevent PPGC from obtaining a license to provide abortions at it’s New Orleans clinic. “After years of delays…intimidation and harassment of workers both on and off the job site, an arson attack and a sham requirement…from [LDH],…the New Orleans Health Center finally opened it’s doors to patients on June 30, 2016.” In September that year, PPCfC applied for its abortion facility license. Nearly 17 months later, with no good reason provided, the application has still not been approved – which is effectively a denial.
The lawsuit also challenges a Louisiana law passed in 2016 (HB 606) which bans abortion providers and those that contract with them, from participating in Louisiana’s Medicaid Program or otherwise receiving state funds. Lift Louisiana aggressively opposed this law in 2016, because it was a deliberate and obvious attempt to kick Planned parenthood out of the Medicaid program, which allows them to provide services to 4,700 patients, if they also offer abortion care at their clinics.
We stand with Planned Parenthood in their effort to provide high-quality reproductive health services to their patients, including those receiving Medicaid, and we support their effort to obtain a license to provide abortions at their New Orleans Health Center.