IN THIS ISSUE...
From Our Director
While January and our Life March events are in the rear view mirror, we implore you to "keep marching" for life on a daily basis.  There are so many thing you can do, from helping a pregnancy center, posting a pro-life message on social media, praying in front of an abortion facility, and more. If we take action every day, we can transform our culture to life!

In the policy arena, we finally received a decision from the federal judge in Baton Rouge declaring our 2014 admitting privilege law unconstitutional. While we are disappointed in his decision, we are hopeful about prospects in the 5th Circuit. We are excited Attorney General Jeff Landry will appeal the decision, and we are appreciative that Gov. John Bel Edwards has voiced his support for the law.

Make sure you save the dates for the 2017 Life March events! 
 
For a Pro-Life Louisiana,
Benjamin Clapper
Life March 2017 Dates!
Mark your calendars for the 2017 Louisiana Life March (LLM) dates!

LLM 2017 Dates
PULSE Weekends

Attention High Schoolers!

The first PULSE Weekend Immersion is coming up soon. Have you registered yet? Register now to become a stronger pro-life leader for your community!
Streetlight Banners

Help! Our Banners Need a New Home!

Our permit has expired, and our beautiful streetlight banners that dotted a portion of St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans have come down.

The banners sparked quite a bit of conversation, and even drew the harsh criticism of a New Orleans city councilwoman. But Dr. Kathy Allen wrote an excellent letter responding to the attacks. The banners met the city's criteria, so they remained through the contracted period and proudly displayed a positive pro-life message.

Now that our banners are down, we are looking for a new area around the state to hang them. If you have a suggestion, email us at info@prolifelouisiana.org!  
HB 388/Act 620 Update
Judge Stops State's Enforcement of HB 388

Last week, seven months after a six-day trial that included testimony from both the plaintiffs of the abortion industry and the defendants from the state of Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals, U.S. District Judge John deGravelles issued his ruling regarding the preliminary fate of Louisiana's 2014 HB 388 / Act 620.
 
In the ruling, deGravelles found that the admitting privileges requirement would place an undue burden on Louisiana women seeking an abortion, and he issued a preliminary injunction preventing the law from being enforced against the clinics involved in the challenge: Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport, Bossier City Medical Suite in Bossier City, and Causeway Medical Clinic in Metairie.
 
Upon reviewing the court's opinion, Benjamin Clapper, Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life, said: "Louisiana Right to Life firmly believes the admitting privileges requirement in HB 388 / Act 620 would increase the health and safety of women seeking an abortion in the state of Louisiana. The case presented by the State of Louisiana at trial furthered this argument.  While we are disappointed in Judge deGravelles' decision, we applaud Attorney General Jeff Landry for his commitment to appeal this ruling to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld a similar Texas provision in 2014. We also appreciate Gov. John Bel Edwards for allowing a smooth transition of the case into the Attorney General's Office."
 
Deanna Wallace, Legislative Director of Louisiana Right to Life, made the following comments on legal matters at hand: "In upholding a similar admitting privilege requirement passed by the Texas Legislature, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2014 found a clear 'connection between the admitting privileges rule and the desirable protection of abortion patients' health.' This ruling echoed decisions by the 4th and 8th Circuit Courts, which stated that admitting privilege requirements 'are obviously beneficial to patients' and 'further important state health objectives.' Since there are significant similarities between the relevant portions of the Texas and Louisiana laws, and the fact that both states have multiple abortion physicians with admitting privileges (unlike Mississippi), we hoped Judge deGravelles would follow the clear reasoning of the previous decisions of the 5th Circuit upholding the Texas provisions. Unfortunately this does not appear to be the case."
 
Clapper said the legal challenge over the admitting privileges law is not over.

"In addition to Attorney General Landry's appeal to the 5th Circuit, it is important to note that the U.S. Supreme Court will review in March a case that involves a similar Texas law, and its decision in that case may impact the Louisiana federal court ruling. We remain hopeful that the Supreme Court will protect the health and safety of women all over the country by upholding common sense safety measures such as admitting privilege requirements."
Upcoming Events
February 12-14:
PULSE Weekend, BR

April 15-17: 
PULSE Weekend, BR 
April 20: 
Pro-Life Day at Capitol
April 29-May 1: 
PULSE Weekend, COV 
May 10: 
Bowties for Babies
June 19-24: 
PULSE Leadership Institute, BR 
Louisianians March for Life
 
"Overwhelmed..." 
Inaugural Central March
Ended A Successful Month
 
By all accounts, the largest pro-life event ever in Central Louisiana took place this past Saturday when more than 1,200 people participated in the inaugural Louisiana Life March Central. The march that began at Louisiana College in Pineville and concluded at the amphitheatre in downtown Alexandria was the third Louisiana Life March held around the state in January.
 
The Louisiana Life March North and Louisiana Life March South happened simultaneously the weekend prior, and more than 6,000 people filled the streets of downtown Baton Rouge and Shreveport/Bossier to march in support of the unborn.

Marchers approach the state Capitol.












The three events were themed "Life is
Priceless", and participants sent a clear message that the commodification of human life is not acceptable in America.
 
The North and South Life Marches both went on without a hitch despite the cold temperatures that bore down on the state that week. And the weather was much warmer for the Central march, helping fuel the excitement for the first-time event as the date approached.
 
First Baptist Church of Pollock Pastor Brian Gunter, who helped Louisiana Right to Life organize the event, was overwhelmed by the response.
 
"As a local pastor, I have been pleading with God for more than two years to open the hearts of this community to the plight of unborn children," he said. "On Saturday I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from churches across denominational lines. The enthusiastic response of thousands who marched with us revealed that the people of Cenla were eagerly awaiting an opportunity to take a stand together for the priceless value of every human life."
(Click to see Gunter's speech)
 
Ryan Verret, Associate Director of Louisiana Right to Life, said it is very motivating to see so many individuals come together to pray and speak publicly about the great injustice of abortion. He said the Life Marches are about more than a "one-day event for all of our friends," and seeing Gunter's perspective of the impact the first Central Louisiana event made on his community makes it even more gratifying.
 
"In the days since the Life March Central I have been contacted by numerous pro-life Christians who are now ready for the first time to engage in sidewalk counseling, prayer vigils, pregnancy resource ministry, and even adoption," Gunter said. "God has clearly used this event to awaken the hearts and minds of his people. This is only the beginning of the pro-life movement in Cenla!"
 
Participants at all three events heard a broad array of speakers, including leaders of various Christian denominations to key elected officials. A few highlights included: 

At the Louisiana Life March North, Attorney General Jeff Landry spoke, along with Louisiana Baptist Convention President Gevan Spinney and Catholic Bishop Michael Duca.

At the Life March Central, Dr. Rick Brewer, President of Louisiana College addressed the audience, along with Congressmen John Fleming and Ralph Abraham.

At the Life March South, Sancha Smith with Concerned Women of America and David Scotton, an LSU senior, motivated the crowd with their personal testimonies.

Shreveport marchers cross bridge.
 
 
Verret said the success of the marches, and especially the first-ever Life March Central, helps further the pro-life movement in the state.
 
"We know that we all have come a very long way in helping to shape the public conscious of residents in our state about the need to restore the right to life of unborn children," he said. "It is a fact that the great majority of Louisianians identify themselves as pro-life every election season.  Still, the work continues in every community of our state to keep our churches, families, and elected officials engaged in the most important and fundamental civil rights issue of our time.  Thank you to everyone who made this year's first-ever Central Louisiana march a great success, and thank you to those who continued standing up for life by marching in Baton Rouge and Shreveport!"
Snowstorm Jonas Doesn't Stop Geaux Forth 2016
By Alex Seghers, LARTL Youth Programs Co-Director
 
Louisiana Right to Life's annual Geaux Forth Rally is designed to gather all the Louisiana student groups traveling to the March for Life for fellowship and education, and it's a call to action for pro-life leadership in the students' own home communities, challenging them to take the energy of the national March for Life home where it is most needed.

Click Here to See Video Highlights


Alex Seghers and Krista Corbello, Louisiana Right to Life Youth Programs Co-Directors, planned the Jan. 21 rally for 1,500 students from Louisiana, including groups from the Dioceses of New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, and Houma-Thibodaux. However, only the New Orleans and Lake Charles groups remained for the Geaux Forth rally and returned home afterward, while the other groups turned homeward that morning to beat the approaching Snowstorm Jonas.
 
Transform DJs Get Students Fired Up

The rally was held for the remaining 650 students, their chaperones, and seminarians at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, Va. GeauxForth opened with the performance of Transform DJs, a Christian electronic dance music group. The group played at numerous times throughout the rally, inviting the students up by the stage, throwing beach balls and shooting confetti canons into the crowd, and also led students in thoughtful praise and worship.
 
Fr. Mike Eguino, S.D.B., from Archbishop Shaw High School, opened the event in prayer, and Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and Attorney General Jeff Landry addressed students with their promises of pro-life leadership in Louisiana politics.
 
LSU senior David Scotton told the moving story of his and his mother's near abortion and then adoption experience and promoted the adoption documentary, "I Lived on Parker Avenue." Sarah Mary Toce, the New England Life and Leadership Director and former Acadiana Outreach Coordinator, presented "Abortion: Not an Honest Answer," educating the audience on fetal development, abortion procedures, and common hard topics surrounding abortion.

Students also learned about the work of Louisiana Students for Life on Louisiana college campuses and heard personal testimonies of how Camp Joshua and PULSE inspired pro-life activism from Alex Lucas, a senior at Brother Martin, and Casey Chance, a recent graduate of Nicholls.
 
From the participation and excitement from the student audience, we know these students are fired up for the cause of life and will work with us to become the rising leaders of the pro-life movement.
Louisiana Right to Life
ProLifeLouisiana.org    1.866.463.5433    @LARightToLife

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