January 21, 2015 — The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals earlier this month rejected Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast's application to provide abortion services at a New Orleans health center that is scheduled to open later in 2015, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The request was rejected under 2012 regulations issued by Gov. Bobby Jindal's (R) administration. The rules require clinics seeking to offer abortion services to carry out the same "facility need review" as state residential care facilities, such as hospice facilities or nursing homes.
Under the regulations, outpatient facilities that want to provide abortion services must prove that such services are needed to preserve access to care prior to applying for a license to perform the procedure.
Details of Application Rejection
Louisiana DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert wrote in a letter rejecting PPGC's application, "Your application failed to establish the probability of serious, adverse consequences to recipients' ability to access outpatient abortion services if you are not allowed to apply for licensure."
PPGC's health center, which is currently under construction, would be the third clinic to provide abortions in the New Orleans area, the sixth abortion clinic in the state and the first Planned Parenthood clinic in Louisiana to provide the procedure. The health center will double the size of PPGC's current clinic in New Orleans, which offers several primary care services.
PPGC has 30 days from the date their application was rejected to appeal the state health department's decision to an administrative law judge. PPGC could also file a lawsuit challenging the decision.
PPGC Louisiana State Director Melissa Flournoy said, "Politicians in Louisiana are using every trick in the book to eliminate access to safe, legal abortion in the state. Make no mistake, this fight is not over" (Deslatte, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 1/16).