Hundreds of abortion-rights supporters gathered in the Faubourg Marigny this afternoon for a block party to support the New Orleans Abortion Fund (NOAF) — an event promoted by Baton Rouge-born adult film actress, producer and director Stormy Daniels.
Daniels — who billed it as a “swamp trash block party” — arrived in front of the Lost Love Lounge to cheers and posed for photos with admirers who donated to the fund.
The event was prompted by six anti-abortion bills that easily passed the Louisiana legislature in its recently concluded regular session, all of which are expected to be signed into law by Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat.
Abortion legislation was hotly debated during this year’s Louisiana legislative session but ultimately all six of the proposed bills restricti…
“We’ve been fighting anti-choice bills since 2012” when the Abortion Fund was founded, said NOAF executive director Amy Irvin. Of Edwards, she said, “It’s particularly disappointing because he understands economic situations and backs equal pay and minimum wage.” Irvin said Daniels had contacted the NOAF, offering to put together the street party/fundraiser.
Inside Big Daddy’s bar, Royal Bell of Aloha Nola was serving Hawaiian pork sandwiches for the cause, while outside the Lost Love crawfish dinners were for sale and entertainers Sunshine Edae and Kiki Kinx were dishing up paella bowls. The drinks specials at the bar included the “Trump and Stormy” and “Russian Golden Showers.” Both the Lost Love and Mimi’s in the Marigny down the street offered items for silent auction which included signed copies of Daniels’ autobiography “Full Disclosure.”
Katie Caldwell works at the Women’s Health Care Center in Uptown, which is one of only three clinics in the state that now perform abortions. Protesters outside the clinic are nothing new, Caldwell said, but since abortion rights have become a flashpoint in the state, “they’ve become significantly more emboldened. Louder. Nastier. They feel like they have state protection,” she added.
Corinna Yazbek, who wore a T-shirt promoting the organization National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, said the new laws would disproportionately affect “poor women, women of color, rural women.
“It’s terrifying,” Yazbek added. “This is ultimately about getting [abortion rights] in front of the [U.S.] Supreme Court.”
Liz Brusseau, who brought a copy of the Mueller Report to be signed by Daniels (who obliged), was blunt: “I feel like the governor just signed my death warrant.”
More than 50 New Orleans chefs and bartenders will host.
Another benefit for the NOAF and Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Is set for next weekend, with dozens of chefs and bartenders volunteering to raise money. That one already has drawn protest, with the group Pro-Life Louisiana urging members to contact participating restaurants under a “Protect Future Foodies” campaign.
Mandeville web radio host Mike Church also has organized a protest march. “We will meet in the parking lot next to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on Camp Street at 3:00pm Saturday June 22nd,” Church wrote on his website, “then Process with Our Lady of Prompt Succor leading the way to the ‘Bake To Kill’ party and pray the 3 Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, pleading with Our Blessed Mother to restore New Orleans as the greatest Catholic City in the U.S. and protect and defend all human life therein – as Saint Joan d’Arc did for Orleans and France.”