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.”