In recent weeks, there has been tremendous media focus on the efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, which receives more than $500 million a year in federal and state funding. Critics claim that defunding Planned Parenthood will harm Louisiana women and leave them with nowhere to go when they need health care. This simply isn’t true. Women in New Orleans have better options for health care.

There are currently 54 federally qualified community health centers in New Orleans that offer men, women and children free or reduced cost health care services beyond what Planned Parenthood’s single clinic offers.

These health centers serve thousands of needy citizens every year and have no ties with the abortion industry. In addition to these health centers, there are numerous other Medicare-eligible health care providers in the New Orleans area that can provide women with a variety of general and women’s health care needs that go far beyond what Planned Parenthood offers.

Planned Parenthood has only a single clinic in New Orleans, yet it is trying to make the public believe that these alternative health care providers are incapable of serving the women of New Orleans if it closes. But the truth is, if Planned Parenthood were defunded, women would not lose access to health care. In fact, these alternative providers would receive additional funding, allowing expanded care in New Orleans and providing women with even more services.

In an effort to educate the public about the resources available to women in New Orleans, Louisiana Right to Life and Students for Life of America have collaborated to release a new video (found online at www.nolaneedspeace.com) depicting the vast disparity between New Orleans’ single Planned Parenthood clinic and the large number of alternative health care providers available to treat women.

No one is losing access to care if taxpayer money no longer flows to Planned Parenthood.

Women aren’t losing access to mammograms because Planned Parenthood does not do them. According to Planned Parenthood’s own annual reports, cancer screenings have dropped by nearly half while abortions have gone up. They sell almost one out of every three abortions in this nation. It is no surprise they are trying to expand in New Orleans so they can take their share of the New Orleans abortion market.

New Orleans women deserve better than an organization that not only makes a profit off of our fellow women when they are frightened and at their most vulnerable but also might be profiting off the broken bodies of their children. Women in New Orleans deserve better than Planned Parenthood.

Kristan Hawkins

president, Students for Life of America

Spotsylvania, Virginia

Benjamin Clapper

executive director, Louisiana Right to Life

New Orleans