Mar 072015
 
Attendees held up "I Stand with Planned Parenthood" fans. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Attendees held up “I Stand with Planned Parenthood” fans. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

On Saturday, Planned Parenthood held the “Stand with Louisiana Women Rally” at the First Presbyterian Church on Claiborne and Jefferson Avenue. At the rally, city councilwomen LaToya Cantrell and Susan Guidry, doctors, student activists, religious leaders and Planned Parenthood leaders all discussed the benefits a Planned Parenthood center would provide for the New Orleans community and the opposition the center and the organization faces amongst other topics.

The South Claiborne Avenue site of the new Planned Parenthood clinic has been the focus of controversy for months. In addition to protests by pro-life groups, Archbishop Gregory Aymond vowed to exclude any contractors who work on the site from receiving church building projects, stalling construction for months.

Work has recently resumed on the site, but protests continue — leading to Saturday’s show of support at the church.

“The continuing intimidation and bullying tactics may be new to our New Orleans community, but they are not new to Planned Parenthood. Even though this project has encountered unnecessary delays due to the relentless intimidation campaigns launched against our vendors, we will not be deterred,” said Melaney Linton, CEO and president of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, said in a statement prior to the event. “Health center projects in other communities have endured and overcome this kind of harassment. Ultimately, they opened their doors and began providing health care to women and men who trust and rely on Planned Parenthood.”

Rev. Fred Powell, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, introduces himself to the audience. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Rev. Fred Powell, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, introduces himself to the audience. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Charles Schully, a member of Social Work Students United for Reproductive Freedom, talked about his experience with Planned Parenthood and how it provides opportunities for others.

Charles Schully, a member of Social Work Students United for Reproductive Freedom, talked about his experience with Planned Parenthood and how it provides opportunities for others.

Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell spoke passionately about the need for Planned Parenthood. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell spoke passionately about the need for Planned Parenthood. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Anne Richardson, a board member of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, writes a positive message about Planned Parenthood on a pink ribbon. The ribbons were tied to a fence that will eventually go around the center. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Anne Richardson, a board member of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, writes a positive message about Planned Parenthood on a pink ribbon. The ribbons were tied to a fence that will eventually go around the center. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Dr. Kevin Stephens discusses specifically the good a Planned Parenthood center can do when it comes to planning having a child. Dr. Stephens is the Senior National Medical Director, Optum Health Care and Executive Minister of the Christian Unity Baptist Church. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Dr. Kevin Stephens discusses specifically the good a Planned Parenthood center can do when it comes to planning having a child. Dr. Stephens is the Senior National Medical Director, Optum Health Care and Executive Minister of the Christian Unity Baptist Church. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Attendees signed a large thank you note for the center's contractor who has been repeatedly confronted by anti-abortion activists. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Attendees signed a large thank you note for the center’s contractor who has been repeatedly confronted by anti-abortion activists. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

 

 

  • NolaMan

    These people should truly feel ashamed of themselves. They are truly cowards that support taking away life from the most defenseless and innocent. My people need to wake up.

  • Dan

    Thankfully, we are not a country ruled by any Church and can make decisions based on conscience rather than having those decisions dictated to us by the state. An example of that situation would be Iran. Try protesting there. These anti-abortion protesters have every right to protest and express their beliefs. However, their beliefs do not give them a right to bully, threaten, intimidate, and murder in the name of those beliefs. Here’s a thought…..if you don’t believe in a woman’s right to safe abortions, don’t get pregnant. And if you do get pregnant, don’t have an abortion. I personally am not pro-abortion and wish they were never necessary. I also believe a woman should not have this kind of very personal and devastating decision made by anyone but her and her own conscience, between her and her God. Considering how governor Bobby “I wanna be president” Jindal has destroyed the public health system in Louisiana along with education, funding for infrastructure, the elderly, and just about everything else that benefits the poor and middle class…it is imperative that we have as many health care options as possible. Abortions are a small percentage of what health care Planned Parenthood provides. Thank you to the contractors who stand up to the bullying tactics of the hypocrites in the Catholic church. There are those in the business community who recognize and reward that kind of bravery.

    • Zared Damear

      Your post literally made me face palm. If by “bully, threaten, intimidate” you mean inform a business that they will lose them as a customer for WHATEVER course of action, then YES, their beliefs DO give them the right! And “murder”? No one has been murdered over this facility. Give me a break.

      And “if you don’t believe in a woman’s right to safe abortions, don’t get pregnant”, resulted in my second face palm of the day…

      I hate to dilute my point, but how are members of the Catholic church hypocrites for opposing abortion if said members refrain from having abortions?

      • Nat Turner’s Revenge

        Not if the church excepts FEMA money. That money has to follow federal procurement laws.

      • donegal_ribbon

        No, no one has been murdered over this facility, but are you denying the murder of Dr. Tiller and others? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-abortion_violence#Murders

        Are you also denying the high rate of abortion amongst Catholic women? http://www.factcheck.org/2007/12/abortions-comparing-catholic-and-protestant-women/

      • Dan

        Maybe you should use that “palm” to open you mind and eyes to what is really going on here. I know this is a waste of time on my part, but I will try to explain it to you Zared.
        The Catholic Church has for decades and probably during most of its’ existence, abused children while denying woman an equal place in their organization, supported discrimination against races and homosexuals, supported big businesses that destroy our environment, engaged openly and secretively with repressive governments abroad, and now wants to continue to bully and intimidate decent working people because they are building a clinic that will provide desperately needed health care to mostly poor women. How often does the Catholic Church try the same tactics against some of their other prohibited practices? Have you ever read about the same tactics being used against people building bars, casinos, or refineries that destroy what God has created? What about these tactics being used against the Catholic Church when they want to build another building because of their self-protected history of child sexual abuse? And I will tell you from VERY personal experiences that very few Catholic priests in New Orleans practice celibacy. I think that would be called hypocrisy….along with the idea that abortions and artificial birth control (things the Catholic Church specifically prohibits) are just as common among Catholics as the general population. Again…that is called hypocrisy and those who participate in this behavior are “hypocrites”. It is not in this one isolated incident that concern should be raised but in the continued efforts by the Catholic Church and right-wind ideologues who are attempting to force their belief system on others by bullying, intimidating, and yes MURDERING doctors who provide abortions. The world is bigger than New Orleans and this particular women’s health clinic. Try reading more and turn off FOX news.

  • Jane Patience

    Wonderful! Planned Parenthood does so much good and has to overcome so much ignorance. I am so glad we will have healthcare in the neighborhood!