Louisiana is in desperate need of women's health care. But opponents of a new Planned Parenthood health center in New Orleans are blocking it at every turn. Jill Filipovic has an excellent write up in Cosmopolitan detailing the struggle over the past year and a half.
Reverend Deanna Vandiver knew abortion was a controversial issue in her home state of Louisiana. But she didn't expect abortion opponents to make her church a target.
"The congregation had just lost two beloved members," said Vandiver, the community minister for the Greater New Orleans Unitarian Universalists and executive director for the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal, recalling a service she led in July. "We were holding this time of silence and meditation for all the grief in our hearts. And in that silence, in that meditative space of prayer, one of the members of this group started to speak out, 'You're an abomination, you're a great deceiver, these children are going to go to Hell,' in the midst of this very tender holy moment."
New Orleans is a Catholic town, and the powerful church is a major owner of land and buildings in the city. The state and federal governments gave hundreds of millions of dollars to the church for post-Katrina building efforts, and money for church-led construction projects keeps pouring in. But in a letter printed in the archdiocese's newspaper in January 2014, Archbishop Gregory Aymond made himself clear: Help build that clinic, and you'll never work in this town again.
Read the full story here: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/news/a35639/planned-parenthood-new-orleans/