Louisiana Lagniappe July 2021
By Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast | July 7, 2021, 5:10 p.m.
New Orleans Fall Celebration: Save the Date!
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
The Pavilion of Two Sisters at City Park, New Orleans
Please save the date to celebrate in person with Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast at our 2021 New Orleans Fall Celebration! Join fellow supporters and like-minded advocates for an upbeat evening of live music, libations, and camaraderie. We will also offer a virtual component for those unable to attend in person.
After a historic year for escalating attacks on reproductive health care, you can show your support by sponsoring this event. Secure your spot early!
Individual tickets will become available in August. For questions or more information, please contact [email protected] or call 832-329-6804.
We hope to see you there!
1. Give local. Donate to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast and 100% of your gift supports Louisianans.
2. Volunteer. Contribute your time and talents, ensuring that we’re able to continue providing health services, advocacy, and education to the communities we serve.
3. Become a patient. Make your next health care appointment at one of our Planned Parenthood health centers in Louisiana.
4. Act. Call your representatives and tell them you stand with Planned Parenthood.
5. Connect. Follow us at @ppgulfcoast, stay engaged with our movement, and use #IStandwithPP to post your support on social media.
In June, the PPGC Education Team completed our very first Starting Early program for children ages 5-7 and their parents or guardians. Designed by educators in collaboration with community members, Starting Early aims to empower families to have conversations with their children from an early age about healthy bodies, families, emotions, boundaries, and body positivity, while laying the groundwork for further dialogue about human reproduction, consent, and personal safety.
Fourteen families with a total of 17 individual children completed the virtual program. Educators incorporated a variety of techniques, including art, videos, storytelling, and individual share-outs, to engage the children and create a fun, safe learning environment.
We look forward to expanding this program in the future as we continue to empower families across Louisiana and Texas!
On June 18, more than 20 teens joined us for PPGC’s first-ever all-day Teen V.I.B.E. (Virtual, Inclusive, Bold Education) Conference, designed for teens, by teens. Teen V.I.B.E. offered young people (ages 14+) a deep dive into a range of topics on sexual health and self-empowerment. Sessions with peer educators and community experts focused on gender identity, healthy relationships, birth control methods, consent, reproductive justice, self-love, mental health, college admissions, professional development, and financial literacy.
In collaboration with Nia Weeks, Founder and Executive Director of Citizen SHE United, our teenGEAUX peer educators are finalizing their “Black Girls Deserve the World” capstone project. This project aims to create an atmosphere that supports young women of color to love the skin they’re in and to uplift the communities that help shape their personal values. We look forward to sharing the final product!
In partnership with the Institute for Women and Ethnic Studies, our Louisiana educators recruited 10 Louisiana high school students for our Lift Every Voice virtual youth roundtable series to gain a deeper understanding of teens’ perceptions of issues related to physical, mental, emotional, and sexual health.
Teens covered a variety of topics in the past two sessions, including the impact of virtual education on mental health, how schools can improve mental health resources and curriculum about race, gender equity, social justice, trade schools, and the effects of social media.
We're thrilled to announce that registration is now open for Sisters Saving Sisters, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s free, year-round mentoring program for young women of color. High school-aged young women who are eager to learn about sexual health, build community, and develop leadership skills for the future can expect meaningful mentorship, fun social events, and incentives (like gift cards and giveaways) for active participation. Transwomen, femmes, and all who identify as young women of color are invited and welcome to join.
And this year, we’re kicking things off with H.O.T. (Honest, Open, Thriving) Girl Summer: six days to level up your life and tech skills. This your chance to earn some extra cash ($100 to be exact) while connecting with peers and creating trendy social media content this summer.
H.O.T. Girl Summer is July 19-22 and July 26-27 from noon – 3 p.m. on Zoom. Limited spots are available, so register today!
Our health educators continue to provide education and outreach through the Chat/Text program, which enables adolescents and young adults to contact trained Planned Parenthood health educators through text or instant messaging to ask questions about birth control, emergency contraception, STI testing, pregnancy testing, abortion, and more. To chat, simply visit plannedparenthood.org/online-tools/chat or text “PPNOW” to 774636.
The Louisiana Legislative Session ended on Thursday, June 10. In partnership with the Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom, our team stood up against multiple anti-abortion bills and other harmful legislation.
Unfortunately, three anti-abortion bills (HB 357, HB 423, and HB 578) passed and were signed into law. All three will take effect on August 1, 2021.
Two of the bills, (HB 357 and HB 423), increase reporting requirements for abortion providers, particularly around minors. The other, HB 578, a so-called abortion pill “reversal” bill, forces providers to give patients misleading and medically inaccurate information about medication abortion.
In a letter from Physicians for Reproductive Health, PPGC providers joined other medical professionals around the country in asking Gov. John Bel Edwards to reject HB 578, but he signed into law despite opposition from medical experts and professional organizations like the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Our Public Affairs team held various sessions with community partners to educate constituents about this session, and we also hosted a letter-writing event for supporters to express gratitude to our legislative champions. We could not do this work without our dedicated supporters who remain committed to continuing the fight for bodily autonomy and access to essential health care for all.
To learn more about current happenings and volunteer opportunities in Louisiana, please visit our webpage.
Has Planned Parenthood changed your life? Do you have a story to share? We’re always looking for new voices to uplift. To find out more about our Speakers Bureau and future storytelling opportunities, please email [email protected] or visit ppgulfcoast.org/story.
Texas Senate Bill 8
In May, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 8 into law – one of the most extreme abortion restrictions in the entire country. Also known as the Texas Heartbeat Act, SB 8 bans abortion in Texas at approximately six weeks, before most people even know they are pregnant and before they have had the opportunity to consider their options. The law includes no exceptions for rape or incest survivors, and it also includes a first-of-its-kind provision called a private cause of action. Designed to make the law more difficult to challenge in court, this provision allows anyone from any state to sue an abortion provider and other individuals who help or intend to help a patient obtain care, regardless of whether they have been harmed and even if they are not directly involved in the situation.
Despite continued political attacks, abortion is still safe and legal in all 50 states, including Texas and Louisiana. SB 8 does not go into effect until September 1, 2021, and Planned Parenthood will not let the law go unchallenged.
Working in Coalition
We are thrilled about the relaunching of the Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom, a statewide alliance of organizations and individuals working to ensure sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice for all people through advocacy, law and policy change, and movement-building. PPGC often works with members of LCRF, and we look forward to our continued partnership.