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For Immediate Release 
Friday, Jan. 8, 2016 
Contact: Benjamin Clapper 

Streetlight Banners Fall Within City Guidelines
Louisiana Right to Life: Banners Promote Community Awareness 

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Louisiana Right to Life believes a call by city leaders and other pro-abortion groups to remove the 16 pro-life streetlight banners installed along St. Charles Avenue between St. Joseph Street and State Street in New Orleans is unjustified.
The banners were installed after an approval process that began in October through the city of New Orleans' Public Works Department. The initial application letter, dated Oct. 1, stated, "The signs are for educational purposes and to promote awareness of pro-life issues in New Orleans." The graphic design of the banners was also included in the packet. The banners were approved by the city on Nov. 3, the design was then sent to the printer, and finally, on Dec. 10, they were installed.
The city's streetlight banner informational document states: "In order to promote community awareness, the Department of Public Works allows community awareness banners to be hung on city-owned streetlights. In general, the DPW does not allow commercial advertising or political campaigning on these banners. Sponsorships are allowed, but the community message must make up a substantial portion of the banners."

The two-sided pink banners display a 19-week-old baby in utero and state: "Give Her Life a Chance! First Heartbeat 22 Days after Conception!" The banners are not political in nature, do not promote a candidate, and do not advertise a business or service. Instead, the banners promote community awareness as a simple reminder that this is what we all looked like at that stage of development.

At Thursday's New Orleans City Council meeting Councilwoman Stacy Head brought up the banners and compared them to the Confederate monuments the city recently declared nuisances. She was quoted in the media as saying the banners are "political signage for a particular position that I perceive as a nuisance. I perceive it as offensive. I do not see it is as promoting awareness."

Benjamin Clapper, Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life, responded: "They (the banners) are not political. They were approved in a fair and equitable manner. Not only is the unborn child discriminated against through abortion, we now see the pro-life message being discriminated against as well."

Dr. Kathy Allen, state director for Louisiana Black Advocates for Life, was disheartened by the comparison of Confederate monuments to the banners depicting an unborn child.

"Every year, more black babies die in abortion clinics in Louisiana than the combined total of black deaths from HIV, cancer and heart disease," Dr. Allen said. "These babies, and all babies, are living beings who could potentially be leaders of cities like New Orleans. Their futures, however, are being wiped out daily by women who are making decisions in fear rather than in the context of fellowship and solidarity.

"The banners along St. Charles Avenue during the month of January, nationally designated as Sanctity of Life Month, are an effort to honor the children who deserve the right to life, the right to join us in the pursuit of a better and more inclusive community.

Now is a time of looking forward to a New Orleans and a state of Louisiana that affirms life and hope. Our children are our hope for the future. The banners along St. Charles Avenue are a plea to join hands in solidarity to save lives. No cost is being borne by the citizens of New Orleans. We certainly support a published, fair process for determining what will be publicly displayed along public spaces. But we do not believe our banners are anything other than a celebration of the life that we all wish to enjoy to the fullest."

Louisiana Right to Life has reached out to Mayor Mitch Landrieu in an effort to clarify the city's position on the call to remove the banners. Click here to read the letter sent to Mayor Landrieu.
Louisiana Right to Life | Lighting the Way to a Pro-Life Louisiana Since 1970 | 1.866.463.5433 |

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