Planned Parenthood’s abortion plans add to violence

aymond    It was discovered recently that Planned Parenthood plans to open a 7,000-square-foot facility on Claiborne Avenue in 2014 that will be a regional abortion center. How concerned are you about this?
    My concern is based on our more general concern that in our archdiocese there is violence and the taking of human life and racism. We’ve even put up signs that say, “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” to remind us that we’re not to take the life of another human being. Within that context, it would seem to me that the “new” Battle of New Orleans extends itself to this issue. Human life, specifically the life of the unborn innocent, is threatened because of this very large Planned Parenthood facility. From their own fund-raising brochures, we know in fact that they will be performing abortions. So when we pray to end this new Battle of New Orleans, that prayer campaign is to protect the life of the unborn, who are not respected.
    How did Planned Parenthood acquire the property?
    My understanding is that the property was on the market, and Planned Parenthood found out it was on the market. There is a rumor that the person is Christian and perhaps a Catholic, which causes me sadness. If that rumor is true, I certainly would be willing to enter into conversation with those who are involved. If a Catholic is selling property to Planned Parenthood, which is the largest provider of abortions in the United States, that’s another indication of the lack of awareness that we need to address.
    What are some of the facts you’ve been able to obtain about Planned Parenthood?
    Although Planned Parenthood doesn’t widely advertise how many abortions it performs each year, we know that it did more than 330,000 abortions in 2011 – which is more than one-third of all abortions in the United States. Nine out of 10 pregnant women who walk into a Planned Parenthood facility have an abortion. That is obviously a concern for us. The position of the Catholic Church is often misunderstood. Yes, we are immensely concerned about the life of the unborn, but we’re also concerned about the life of the born. We are concerned for the mother of the unborn child who will be forever changed by abortion, emotionally, mentally and often physically. We’re concerned about those who are murdered, the immigrant, the poor, those who experience racial slurs and discrimination, those who are euthanized and those who are victims of human trafficking. We embrace all those life issues, but basic and fundamental to all these issues is abortion. If you can justify the taking of an unborn, innocent, human life, it becomes much easier to justify taking the life of those who are on the edges of society.
    The archdiocese is joining with other Christian denominations to launch a “NOLA Needs Peace Awareness Week” April 27-May 3 about this issue. Why is this important?
    It seems to me that many people in our community – and this is not just in New Orleans – do not know that Planned Parenthood supports abortion and performs abortions. The awareness week will allow our parishes and other Christian churches to conduct an educational campaign. This also will be a prayer campaign, which, we hope, will change hearts and minds so that there is a deeper respect for and understanding of the teachings of Christ.
    Easter is upon us. What is your Easter message to the faithful of the archdiocese?
    Since his election, Pope Francis has taught us a great deal by his example of reaching out beyond ourselves to care for those who are “most in need,” and those most in need can be within our own family, neighborhood, parish or within the larger community. Easter is an opportunity for us to follow more closely in the footsteps of Christ, who literally died to himself and was raised to new life. We hope that our celebration of Easter will help to die ever more fully to ourselves and to be that generous heart that reaches out to others. As we have experienced new life in Christ, we, too, can offer others that same new life.
    Questions for Archbishop Aymond may be sent to

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