Planned Parenthood rally

As legislators debated the budget and education issues Thursday, Planned Parenthood supporters took to the State Capitol steps to try to focus attention on legislation impacting the health care of women and their families.

About 50 people rallied to hear speakers stressing the importance of getting age appropriate sex education to students and passing Medicaid expansion because 40 percent of Louisiana’s women are uninsured as well as rejecting an attempt to limit a woman’s access to safe and legal abortions.

They also argued against what they call “dangerous bills,” which they say threaten the health of women and young people. The bills would add a new requirement on abortion clinics which could result in the closure of four of the six currently located in Louisiana and the other designed to keep Planned Parenthood sex education programs out of Louisiana classrooms.

Planned Parenthood has been in New Orleans and Baton Rouge for the last 30 years providing wellness exams, cancer screenings and family planning services for women and families as well as education programs.

“We are on the front lines as a health care provider,” said Melissa Flournoy, Louisiana state director of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast.