The state director of Planned Parenthood Louisiana on Tuesday ripped Gov. Bobby Jindal for a health care policy that continues to reduce services for Louisiana’s needy.
The public health system is “already in shambles,” state director Melissa Flournoy said in an opinion piece. “Now with his call to defund Planned Parenthood where will the men and women in Louisiana turn for these vital services?”
She said more than 5,200 men and women get health care services through Planned Parenthood facilities in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
“Louisiana needs more health care – not more of Jindal’s roadblocks and political theater. His healthcare record speaks for itself; slash budgets and services at the expense of those who need help the most,” Flournoy said.
Flournoy listed as examples Jindal’s refusal to accept Medicaid expansion, closing mental health facilities, the shuttering fo the emergency room at Baton Rouge General – Mid City and the failure to adequately fund the new University Medical Center in New Orleans.
Jindal announced he is eliminating Planned Parenthood Louisiana as a Medicaid provider, reacting to undercover videos purportedly revealing the organization in other states selling fetal body parts – something Planned Parenthood denies.
Planned Parenthood facilities in Baton Rouge and New Orleans do not provide abortion services. They offer such things as cancer screenings, well-woman exams, birth control and testing.
In a statement, Jindal said: “Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the people of Louisiana and shows a fundamental disrespect for human life.”
The federal health ageny warned Jindal administration officials the move would violate Medicaid law.
Federal judges in Arizona and Indiana have ruled that defunding Planned Parenthood for a reason unrelated to its fitness to provide medical services violates its patients’ right to obtain medical care from the qualified provider of their choice.
Last week, a group of Planned Parenthood supporters delivered more than 6,000 postcards and letters urging Jindal to rescind his decision. The organization has scheduled a 4:30 p.m. Thursday rally outside the Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge against the defunding.