Hundreds of Anti-Choice Protesters Descend on New Orleans

Hundreds of anti-choice activists are descending on New Orleans this week to stage protests around the city.

Reproductive rights advocates view the protests as part of a continued assault on women’s access to reproductive health care in the city and the state. The planned protests have local law enforcement gearing up for their presence with extra vans, barricades, plainclothes intelligence officers, cops wearing body cams, and some officers on horseback.

Operation Save America, formerly Operation Rescue National, began its week-long demonstration Saturday protesting New Orleans’ Causeway Medical Clinic and what the group has ascertained to be the private residence of an abortion provider. The protests that have been planned over the last several months will conclude on July 26.

The New Orleans Police Department and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department reportedly will have uniformed officers outside both the Causeway Medical Clinic and the Women’s Health Center throughout the week.

“Anytime we have demonstrations and things like this, we always want to make sure we deploy some people there both in uniform and plainclothes,” Col. John Fortunato, a spokesperson for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department, told the New Orleans Advocate.

“Just for the visibility aspect. We don’t anticipate having any problems. It’s just a precaution, and we want to make sure we’re out there and the citizens know we’re out there to protect the community,” said Fortunato.

The protests follow on the heels of legislative efforts to reduce access to reproductive health care in Louisiana, which advocates say are already having a negative impact on residents’ access to reproductive health-care services.

In a press release Melissa Flournoy, the Louisiana state director of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, said the protests are motivated in part by the construction of a new Planned Parenthood facility in the city that will offer a full range of reproductive health services.

Local anti-choice organizations have attempted to prevent the building of the facility with television advertisements and billboards, as well as by calling for boycotts of local businesses that have been hired to take part in the construction of the facility.

“These groups that have been harassing us and the local business community for months don’t do a thing to help people detect cancer or avoid unintended pregnancy,” said Melaney Linton, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. “We’re taking action to help more people get health care, and these attacks only make us stronger.”

Volunteers with the New Orleans Abortion Fund told RH Reality Check that together with the Feminist Majority Foundation and others, allies are organizing clinic escorts and legal observers to ensure the safety and well-being of patients and clinic staff.

“This opposition only steels our resolve to expand access to health care in New Orleans, and we’re moving forward full-steam to build this health center so that more people can get cancer screenings, birth control, and STI testing and treatment,” Flournoy said.

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  • fiona64

    “Peaceful grandmothers who just want to talk to you,” my Aunt Fanny. Operation Rescue is nothing but a group of domestic terrorists.

  • StealthGaytheist

    These freaks should get real hobbies, perhaps even do something that actually helps humanity.

    • Alex Hunter

      Except helping people who aren’t you or can’t pay you back with interest is the mark of the dreaded Socialist, who apparently wants to turn the Western World into China for some reason.

  • absolutspacegirl

    I live here and I think the final number of protesters was around 55, but here’s a quote from a local news story: “40 picketed a private home in Carrollton, some holding posters with graphic images of aborted fetuses.”

    Not sure whose private home they were at or why, but yeah. Good people.

    • Shan

      Good people use graphic images of aborted fetuses?


      • absolutspacegirl

        I was being sarcastic.

        • Shan

          Righty ho, then. I guess I missed that because I don’t know you. Sorry about that!

          • absolutspacegirl

            No worries :)

          • BelligerentBruncher

            No, you missed it because you’re not very bright.

          • Shan

            Oh, look! My very first trollower!

          • fiona64

            It’s always fun when you get a Dudebro MRA stalker … mine had the added “bonus” of being an 18-year-old radical right-wing Christian virgin male who wanted to opine on how everyone should live … based, of course, on his vast personal experience. Heh. He’s the reason my profile is now locked down.

          • Shan

            I wondered. I checked my Disqus profile for followers recently and saw a lot of really sketchy dudes but thought…okay, I guess they need a hobby.

          • vulgarism

            I’m pretty sketchy.

          • Shan

            Yeah, but you don’t troll me so you can just sketch away as far as I’m concerned.

          • catseye

            Better watch those 3 fingers pointing back at YOU there, BB brain.

        • fiona64

          Bawbee Jindal is yet another politician who needs to stop practicing medicine without a license.

      • vulgarism

        Fetus gore pr0n just makes them look crazy to the public at large

        • Shan

          So it does. I wonder how many people would get arrested for waving graphic Gerri Santoro posters against making abortion illegal again.

          • vulgarism

            Of course. The female body is pornographic.

            Was just reading this morning about how Facebook has, once again, censored images of the female form whilst having no problem with offensive gore and pro-violence and rape posts.

      • catseye

        Except that those horrendous pictures AREN’T of “aborted fetuses.” They take full-term stillborns and hack them up and pour red food coloring on them. An actual 12-week aborted fetus is indistinguishable from a blood clot, and at 20 weeks, it is approximately an inch long and looks like a shrimp.

  • Beatrix S.L

    Hello American Taliban.

  • jimm58

    Hard to find a group with more hate in their hearts than these fetus-porn addicts.