Louisiana Lagniappe October 2021
By Alysson Romo | Oct. 20, 2021, 6:16 p.m.
Senate Bill 8 (SB 8)
Senate Bill 8 went into effect on September 1, 2021. SB8 bans abortion in Texas at around 6 weeks - before most people even know they are pregnant - with no exceptions for rape or incest. While Planned Parenthood works to fight against this cruel attack, Planned Parenthood Center for Choice continues to offer abortion care in compliance with SB8.
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization
In its upcoming session, the U.S. Supreme Court will review Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade and nearly 50 years of precedent since that landmark decision. This is the first direct challenge to Roe the Court will hear since Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation. The case, brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of Jackson Women’s Health Organization — the last remaining abortion provider in Mississippi — challenges a blatantly unconstitutional ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
The Mississippi law is currently blocked, with both a federal district court and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals recognizing it is unconstitutional. If the Supreme Court allows Mississippi’s 15-week ban to take effect, abortion access is at risk in many other states, including here in Louisiana, where a similar ban is on hold. Louisiana’s 15-week ban was signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards in 2018, however, it included a provision that the law would take effect only if a federal court upholds Mississippi's 15-week ban. Stay tuned for updates as we move closer to oral arguments in December.
New Orleans Fall Celebration
Originally scheduled for October 5, 2021, PPGC’s annual New Orleans Fall Celebration raised over $100,000, despite cancellation due to Hurricane Ida. Committee chairs Kim O’Brien and Dr. Gail Wise would like to extend gratitude to all committee members and supporters for their efforts in fighting for accessible health care and reproductive rights.
If you are still interested in supporting the event, PPGC is accepting donations for Rightfully Ours until October 31. Visit the event page for more information.
Baton Rouge and 225Gives
This year, PPGC is excited to participate in 225Gives, a 24-hour online giving event to support the entire Baton Rouge region and celebrate the important role that local nonprofits play in strengthening our community. The event opens on Monday, November 15 with a two-week early giving period and runs through Giving Tuesday, November 30.
PPGC operates the Dee Dee Reilly Health Center in Baton Rouge, located within a federally designated medically underserved area where people experience economic, cultural, and linguistic barriers to care. In addition to health care services, PPGC also provides inclusive, evidence-based educational programs with signature reproductive and sexual health training modules. No matter the size, your gift increases the capacity of nonprofits like PPGC to deliver on our mission directly in Baton Rouge.
To learn more and make your contribution, visit our page on 225Gives.
Let's Talk Month
October is Let’s Talk Month, encouraging open, honest communication in families. When parents and caregivers talk openly with children about relationships and sex, they help them make healthy decisions. Young people have questions and need support. Parents and caregivers should know that they don’t need to be perfect, and they don’t need to do it alone: PPGC Educators have your back! Check out our website for tips and resources.
Drawing Water from a Deeper Well Conference
In August, the Education Team facilitated a workshop at the 2021 Drawing Water from a Deeper Well Conference that highlighted our impactful education programming in Louisiana. The need for access to quality, inclusive, medically accurate sexual education is ever-present. But providing comprehensive sexual education in states with hostile leadership — and during a pandemic — is a significant challenge. The Education Team at PPGC has adapted to these challenges and built a menu of programs to serve the needs of various communities throughout Louisiana, including two new programs this year: Starting Early for pre-K through first grade students and teenGEAUX (Guidance, Education, Advocacy, Unity, and Excellence) for adolescents. Our workshop explored different ways to develop partnerships with local community groups, including faith-based organizations, to ensure people can access medically accurate sexual education. Participants also learned about each program and reviewed samples of the lessons and resources used to engage our youth and parent audiences.
At PPGC, we believe that informed kids grow up into empowered adults. Communicating openly within a family creates a healthy environment and nurtures trust. SE was a series designed to help parents and their children create a safe space to talk about important topics related to sexuality, like our bodies and how to stay safe and healthy. Baton Rouge and New Orleans community members, faith leaders, and PPGC educators comprised the SE planning committee.
“I enjoyed being a part of this important and helpful resource. As a great-grandparent raising four children under 12, this is very helpful in introducing sensitive topics. I have had both my 10-year-old and 6-year-old in the class at different times. The materials are colorful and well-articulated. Thank you for such a great effort.” – New Orleans SE Participant
Developed specifically to engage youth from Louisiana’s faith community, PPGC’s teenGEAUX program was designed to train young leaders in sexual and reproductive health education and advocacy. teenGEAUX’s pilot cohort consisted of nine participants between ages 14-21 from several Louisiana faith-based institutions.
“Very empowering, motivating, great tips for advocacy, good tips for health advocating and making sure to give people correct information about your reproductive health.” — teenGEAUX Member
Sisters Saving Sisters
Sisters Saving Sisters (SSS) is a free mentoring program designed to advance and empower young women of color. 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!
Are you ready to use your voice to talk about the unique issues teens face today? teenREACH empowers teens to educate their peers and families about sexual health topics and healthy decision-making. Connect with other young advocates, gain knowledge and leadership skills, and make a lasting, positive impact in your community.
Our health educators also 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.
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Young Leaders
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Young Leaders are groups of 20- and 30- something professionals who recognize that the future of reproductive freedom and quality health care depends on the determination and dedication of their generation. Their mission is to build this new generation of supporters and advocates in order to ensure the right and ability of all individuals to manage their sexual and reproductive health through the health services, education, and advocacy provided by PPGC. To learn more or join our passionate young leaders, visit our website.
New Orleans PPYL co-chairs connect with new community partners.
Planned Parenthood Generation Action (PP Gen)
Planned Parenthood Generation Action (PP Gen) is a program to educate and mobilize students and youth in support of reproductive health and rights on college campuses. PP Gen members participate in direct action to engage their campus communities. Click here to learn more about campus organizing.
At Southern University and A&M College, PPGeners recently partnered with the SU Men's Federation to host an on-campus sex education event around LGBTQ+ issues. The group also partnered with the Phi Mu Alpha fraternity to host a virtual sex education session.
Rally For Abortion Justice - NOLA
On Saturday, October 2, thousands of people in all 50 states marched and rallied for reproductive freedom and abortion justice before the U.S. Supreme Court reconvened on October 4. With reproductive freedom under attack like never before, people everywhere felt the urgency to show up and make it clear to anti-abortion extremists that we won't stand by quietly as they try to control our bodies. The purpose was to send a message to the nation’s highest court and lawmakers across the country: Attacks on our reproductive freedom won’t be tolerated.
Locally, people gathered in New Orleans to march from Louis Armstrong Park to City Hall. PPYL co-chairs Maleiya and Jeramesha spoke about the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case and the disproportionate impact of abortion bans on marginalized communities. At City Hall, PPGC patient advocate Tara told her own powerful abortion story. People showed up to rally despite the rain, and PPGC was proud to stand with so many others in this fight.
PPYL co-chairs Maleiya and Jeramesha brave the rain to kick off the New Orleans event at Armstrong Park.
PPGC patient advocate,Tara, shares her story at City Hall.
Supporters visit PPGC’s tent at the Rally For Abortion Justice on October 2nd.
Special thanks to all of our volunteers for coming out to support the event!
Rise Up Youth Champions Initiative 2021
Two Louisiana youth leaders — New Orleans PPYL co-chair, Maleiya and Newcomb Repro Health, Repro Rights & Repro Justice scholar/intern, Sophie —were selected to participate in the Rise Up Youth Champions Initiative 2021. This initiative invests $12,000 grants into powerful young leaders, ages 18-29, who are leading the sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice movement in Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Rwanda, and the United States. The program model enables young leaders to create large-scale change through leadership development, technology, innovation, and advocacy.
Maleiya will be using social media tools to create awareness about sexual health to increase condom usage for Black women and women of color. Her platform will use messaging, apparel and pop culture news to engage women to make their sexual health a top priority. Sophie will be developing a project to advance sexual and reproductive health in New Orleans. Throughout the incubator, Sophie will work on programming that offers comprehensive sex education to youth. PPGC looks forward to their final products upon the completion of the project.