New Orleans, La., Feb 10, 2014 / 12:09 pm
Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans said his archdiocese will not conduct business with individuals or organizations whose work is essential to the construction of a new Planned Parenthood clinic that could perform up to 30 abortions per day.
"We hope that the community invested in the City of New Orleans and in her future will join us in standing for life, not more abortion," the archbishop said in his Jan. 27 column for the Clarion Herald newspaper.
"All citizens of the New Orleans area must stand together for a peaceful community, not one with more abortion and more Planned Parenthood."
Archbishop Aymond said that the archdiocese, including its churches, schools, elderly apartments and nursing homes, will "strive in its privately funded work not to enter into business relationships with any person or organization" whose actions are "essential to making this abortion facility a reality."
Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the U.S., is planning a New Orleans facility between 7,000 and 8,000 square feet in size. The abortion clinic, planned to open in 2014, will be the organization's only abortion facility in the state.
The archbishop said the clinic's projected capacity of 30 daily abortions – which could add up to about 10,000 a year – would be "a staggering increase" from the estimated 3,500 total abortions performed in Orleans and Jefferson in 2012.
"We cannot be silent in view of the grave injustice presented by the abortions that will be performed at the proposed Planned Parenthood facility," Archbishop Aymond said. "A regional abortion center will not solve our problems; it will only create more."
The archdiocese, he said, is obliged to remind everyone who helps in the acquisition, preparation and construction of any abortion facility that they are "cooperating with the evil that will take place there."
He said there is "no justification," including economic hardship, that renders acceptable a "direct or indirect relationship" with Planned Parenthood or any abortion provider.
Catholic affiliation with or support for Planned Parenthood is "a matter of serious scandal," he stated.
The archbishop cited the Catechism of the Catholic Church's teaching that human life must be "respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception" and that the right to life of a human being must be recognized "from the first moment of his existence."
Archbishop Aymond voiced continued prayers for "those that are blind to the destruction caused by abortion." He said Catholics will continue to invite those involved with Planned Parenthood to "prayer and dialogue."