As part of an ongoing effort to increase reproductive health-care access in Louisiana, the Planned Parenthood Center for Choice late Tuesday filed a notice of appeal asking state officials to allow the provision of abortion services at a new health center in New Orleans.
The organization had intended to offer abortion care along with its other services at the clinic once it opens.
“To help more Louisiana women and families access the care they need, Planned Parenthood has planned to build a new health center that will provide the full range of reproductive health care services, which includes access to well-women exams, breast health, STI prevention, testing and treatment, contraception and abortion,” said the organization in a statement.
But since 2012, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, under the direction of Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, has required all new facilities seeking to offer abortions to first get approval from the state.
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In January, the department denied Planned Parenthood’s request to provide abortion services at the new clinic, writing in a letter that the organization “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.”
The notice of appeal sent by Planned Parenthood to the Louisiana Division of Administrative Law asks the state to reconsider its January decision.
Though the rate of unintended pregnancies is decreasing in states across the country, between 2006 and 2010 Louisiana saw a 4.6 percent increase in unintended pregnancies—a number that, according to Planned Parenthood, evidences the need for preventive reproductive services as well as abortion.
“All women and families deserve the highest quality care no matter who they are and where they live,” said Raegan Carter, Planned Parenthood Center for Choice senior director of external services. “Our new health center will open and when it does, it will double the number of women receiving care from Planned Parenthood.”