Happy August, y’all, and hope you’re staying cool! It's election season in Louisiana, which means it’s time to ensure you’re registered to vote. Louisiana has two major elections coming up this fall.
The primary in October will be elections of all statewide positions, including major offices like governor and attorney general, as well as all state legislative offices in the Senate and House of Representatives. The general election in November will be a runoff, meaning we're voting on the top candidates that made it past the first election, if not elected outright in October. The bottom line: EVERYONE in Louisiana will have major state elections on their ballots this fall.
Gubernatorial Primary Election
- Sept. 12: Deadline to register in-person or by mail
- Sept. 23: Deadline to register online (GeauxVote Online Registration System)
- Sept. 30 – Oct. 7: Early voting from 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. (excluding Sunday, Oct. 1)
- Oct. 14: Primary election
Gubernatorial General Election
- Oct. 18: Deadline to register in-person or by mail
- Oct. 28: Deadline to register online (GeauxVote Online Registration System)
- Nov. 3 – Nov. 11: Early voting from 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. (excluding Sunday, Nov. 5 and Friday, Nov. 10)
- Nov. 18: General election
Even if you're already registered to vote, double-check your status anyway to ensure all your information is up to date. And look out for PPGC’s upcoming Louisiana voter guide with all the pre-election information you need to ensure you’re prepared at the polls! Keep reading because we've got some great news for you including two new services at our health centers.
In the Community
Last month, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast joined local organizations AmeriHealth and the Housing Authority of New Orleans to hand out school supplies to over 800 children and distribute education materials to over 400 students in the Greater New Orleans area.
PPGC was also busy with back-to-school in Baton Rouge where we joined community partners Healthy Blue, The Safety Place, and Allstar Community Care to bring resources to students and parents at their back-to-school events.
To conclude an active legislative session, PPGC volunteers partnered with NOW Baton Rouge and gathered at the DeeDee Reilly Health Center in Baton Rouge to write thank-you letters to the legislative champions who fought for our sexual and reproductive health and rights this year.
We had a blast at this year’s Essence Fest in New Orleans – the annual “party with a purpose” and three-day celebration of Black culture – where we joined our national colleagues from Planned Parenthood Federation of America to bring sex ed trivia to the streets of New Orleans. PPGC health educator Jada, education interns, and Men in the Movement volunteers engaged festival attendees heading to the convention center with a game of “Are You Smarter than a Health Educator?” to test their knowledge of popular sex ed topics.
This summer, PPGC partnered with the Big Buddy Program and the Baton Rouge mayor's office for the Mayor's Youth Workforce Experience, where we brought on four high school students to intern with us. Throughout July, the interns taught four lessons to their peers, covering a range of health topics like anatomy and supportive relationships. PPGC is dedicated to engaging and fostering future leaders, and we were proud to join 10,000 Women and Lift Louisiana for an amazing Student Day at the Capitol. Seen here, our teenREACHers joined us in Baton Rouge where they learned about the legislative session, witnessed committee hearings, and toured the capitol building to learn more about the legislative process and how to get involved.
PPGC In the News
“Louisiana legislators again find themselves on the wrong side of history today with their vote to override the veto on this cruel, dangerous, and likely unconstitutional ban on essential health care. This session, we saw extremist lawmakers repeatedly undermine the democratic process to ram through their hateful legislation despite widespread public outcry and consistent opposition from medical experts, LGBTQ+ advocates, and Louisiana parents.
There is no place for politics in people’s personal medical decisions. Like all people, young transgender folks in Louisiana deserve access to lifesaving and life-affirming health care. While we are deeply saddened by this display of cruelty, together with our partners we will keep up the fight for a Louisiana where all people can get the health care they need.” -Petrice Sams-Abiodun, PhD, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships – Louisiana, Planned Parenthood
… Abby Ledoux, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, said this is a good option for people who don’t have easy access to health insurance or a doctor.
“Removing that barrier will really help people who already struggle to get access through our health care system, and especially people who already face a lot of stigma and discrimination in the health care system,” said Ledoux.
ProFrequency: In partnership with Creative Community League, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast hosts a monthly radio show segment, “ProFrequency,” on New Orleans’ 102.3 WHIV FM. The show airs every third Thursday each month at 10 a.m. and is hosted by PPGC Louisiana Communications Manager Kendra Smith-Parks, who is based in New Orleans. Each month, Kendra interviews PPGC experts and community partners from around the city. This month, we’re focusing on menopause: What is it? How do you get through it? What should you expect? Listen on Spotify here.
New Orleans Fall Celebration
PPGC’s New Orleans Fall Celebration is set for Wednesday, October 18, 2023 at the Pavillion of Two Sisters in City Park. The theme for this year’s event is CouRAGEous, which encompasses all of the elements we need in our fight for a better, more equitable future: The courage to continue when our adversaries are relentless, the rage that pushes us to keep fighting, and each and every one of us coming together to demand that our rights be respected until we realize a world where everyone is in control of their reproductive health, lives, and futures.
Over the last year, PPGC has continued to serve the thousands of Louisianans who need us more than ever for sexual and reproductive health care and comprehensive, medically accurate information and education. And we couldn’t do that without the generosity and support of our community and donors. Get your tickets today! Email [email protected] for more information on sponsorship opportunities.
Empowering Young People
Do you know any high school students who would be interested in joining our youth leadership & peer health educator group, teenREACH? We are actively recruiting more students to join us in both New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Over the last year, our teens have facilitated sex ed learning in the community among their peers, participated in a national youth sex education conference, hosted youth trivia games nights, and have been featured in local publications advocating for sexual and reproductive health and rights in Louisiana. Teens will build their knowledge, facilitation skills, and network of friends and fellow advocates throughout the teenREACH process. Don’t miss out and be sure to share with the young people in your life!
Additional resources for education:
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast believes that informed young people grow into empowered and prepared adults. Comprehensive sex education gives young people age-appropriate, medically accurate information and answers to their questions about sex and relationships without shame or judgment. But too many people don’t have access to sex education, or the programs in their schools are shaming and or inaccurate. PPGC is working to combat this. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide organized by age groups with resources to assist parents throughout their sex education journey, because there is no such thing as having just one “talk”. See here for more information on resources near you!
PPGC is expanding our Promotora program in partnership with Latinx organizations throughout Louisiana. We’re working to train local New Orleanian Latinx leaders on best practices around sexuality health education using the Promotora-created VOICES (Volunteer, Open, Inclusive, Community Education on Sexuality) Program. Our sessions are delivered to audiences of 5+ people, virtually or in-person (when it is safe to do so). Learn more by reaching out to our team at [email protected].
New pregnancy-related services
Starting September 7, PPGC is expanding pregnancy-related services in our New Orleans health center. In addition to pregnancy testing, pregnancy counseling, and out-of-state abortion patient navigation, we will now offer ultrasounds for pregnancy dating, evaluation for early pregnancy loss and miscarriage management, and pre- and post-abortion care.
Abortion bans like Louisiana’s have wrought chaos and confusion, with many pregnant people afraid to seek the care they need — even in emergencies — or denied care altogether due to uncertainty in the medical community. In this drastically changed reproductive health landscape, Louisianans need a safe, compassionate, and non-judgmental place to turn for their questions and concerns about pregnancy, miscarriage, and abortion, and PPGC is proud to be that place. If we can’t provide care directly in our health center, we can connect patients to trusted partners that can.
PPGC accepts most health insurance plans, including Medicaid in Louisiana, — and low- and no-cost financial assistance programs are available for qualifying patients. For more information or to make an appointment, call 1-800-230-PLAN or schedule online at ppgulfcoast.org/book. For patients who need help connecting to out-of-state abortion care, visit ppgulfcoast.org/abortionhelp.
Expanding HIV prevention services
ICYMI: PPGC recently expanded HIV prevention and post-exposure services for patients in all health centers across Louisiana and the greater Houston area. In addition to daily pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to help prevent HIV, patients can now access event-driven PrEP and non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP) at PPGC.
PrEP is a safe and highly effective medication that, when used correctly, can lower the chances of contracting HIV from sex by up to 99 percent. Event-driven PrEP, sometimes referred to as “on-demand” PrEP, allows patients to take the medication around the time of a potential exposure rather than every day. And while PrEP helps prevent HIV, nPEP can lower the chances of contracting HIV within 72 hours of exposure. nPEP consists of a regimen of antiretroviral medications taken as soon after HIV exposure as possible and must be started within three days. PPGC is proud to offer this care as we fight to end the HIV epidemic. Book an appointment today at 1-800-230-PLAN or ppgulfcoast.org/book and visit ppgulfcoast.org/lgbtq to learn more about PrEP and nPEP.
- Help us continue providing affordable, high-quality sexual and reproductive health care and abortion patient navigation across Louisiana: Make a gift today.
- Help us beat back abortion stigma through the power of storytelling. Share your abortion story here.
- Stand with Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast: Sign up to volunteer here.
- Support your local abortion fund: Louisiana Abortion Fund
- Stay in the know: Subscribe to our newsletter here.