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Jindal's 'attack on poor women' 

Governor ends Planned Parenthood Medicaid contract in Louisiana

  Gov. Bobby Jindal's termination of Planned Parenthood's Medicaid contracts in Louisiana will have disastrous effects in low-income black neighborhoods in New Orleans, according to New Orleans women's health organization Women With A Vision (WWAV).

  On Aug. 3, Jindal announced that he had directed the state Department of Health and Hospitals to investigate Planned Parenthood after heavily edited videos from the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress alleged Planned Parenthood's sale of fetal tissue. In a statement, Jindal said, "Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the State of Louisiana in regards to respecting human life."

  Planned Parenthood — which doesn't provide abortion services in New Orleans but does offer gynecological exams, cervical cancer screenings, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and family planning — has a 30-day window to appeal. (Jindal's announcement also came as the U.S. Senate failed to pass a measure ending federal Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood.)

  Deon Haywood, director of WWAV, said the state "is playing games with the lives of poor women and women of color.

  "Ending the Medicaid contract creates even more barriers to needed reproductive health care services in a state with some of the highest health disparities in the nation," she said in a statement. "This is an outright attack on poor women."

  Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast's Louisiana Director Melissa Flournoy said the organization provided 15,000 health care visits to Louisiana residents last year, including more than 4,300 low-income, uninsured women. Louisiana has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in the U.S., according to the National HIV Surveillance report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In Louisiana, HIV diagnoses among black women are 12 times greater than diagnoses among white women. There also are disproportionate rates of sexually transmitted diseases in the state.

  In Jindal's keynote speech at the National Right to Life convention in New Orleans July 9, Jindal slammed the GOP and Republican presidential candidates for being too timid on anti-abortion legislation and activism. Jindal hailed Louisiana's ranking as the "most pro-life state" along with his efforts to limit abortion in the state and said Republicans "view life and marriage as a distraction."

  "If the Republican party can't turn defending innocent human life into a winning issue nationally," he said, "we should fold up the Republican Party and start over."

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