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Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast

For immediate release: September 14, 2016                                                       

CONTACT: Kirby Smith, 504.390.3243


Court Protects Access to Care at Planned Parenthood in Louisiana


New Orleans, LA – Just now, the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit ruled to protect more than 5,200 Louisianans’ access to birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, and other preventive health care at Planned Parenthood health centers through the Medicaid program. In its order, the court wrote: “... the public interest weighs in favor of preliminarily enforcing the Individual Plaintiffs’ rights and allowing some of the state’s neediest individuals to continue receiving medical care from a much needed provider.” Find more details on the case in this backgrounder.


This comes as politicians in at least 24 states have taken action to “defund” and block care at Planned Parenthood, many of them Southern and Gulf states where women face the threat of Zika. These "defunding" policies in states like Louisiana, Florida, and Texas jeopardize the very health care that the CDC recommends as the primary strategy to reduce Zika-related pregnancy complications, including birth control, health education, and other family planning care.


Statement from Melaney A. Linton, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast

“Today’s ruling affirms that Louisianans can continue to rely on Planned Parenthood, their trusted health care provider. For more than thirty years, people from all over Louisiana have relied on Planned Parenthood for lifesaving health care. And for too long, politicians have tried to restrict Louisianans’ access to the care they need and deserve. Planned Parenthood will do everything we can to ensure our patients and the people who need health care will always have a place to turn – no matter what.”


Statement from Raegan Carter, Senior Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast

“This victory is critically important for thousands of Louisianans across our state – people who deserve to have their health come before political agendas. As a Louisianan and a woman of color, this is very personal. People of color in our community already face too many systemic barriers to care – and blocking care at Planned Parenthood would make it even worse. For all our patients, this isn’t about politics – it’s about access to fundamental health care.”


Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast and three of its patients are represented by lawyers from Planned Parenthood Federation of America and New Orleans attorney William Rittenberg.




For more than 30 years, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has been the most trusted source of nonprofit reproductive health care in Louisiana. Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast provides high-quality affordable health care to women and men at nine health centers located in Louisiana and across Houston.  Our mission is to ensure the right and ability of all individuals to manage their reproductive and sexual health by providing health care, education, and advocacy.


Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Inc.


September 14, 2016