The nation’s largest single provider of reproductive health services wants to build an expansive facility to serve the Gulf Coast region’s abortion needs where the Baton Rouge Zoo currently resides.
Planned Parenthood’s $200 million proposal to purchase and develop the 147-acre site into the nation’s largest abortion clinic comes amid debate about relocating BREC’s 47-year-old zoo from an already economically disadvantaged North Baton Rouge.
The plan calls for the construction of a 175,000-square-foot women’s health clinic and pavilion capable of performing over 100 abortions a day. The facility would be designed to ensure compliance with current — and even potential future — state abortion regulations, according to a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman.
“This could do for North Baton Rouge what Bass Pro did for Denham Springs. This could be our Cabela’s.”
“Many Southern states have numerous onerous laws to block women from accessing safe reproductive services, and Louisiana is right up there with the worst of them,” Jewel Bush said. “This comprehensive development would not only be built to comply with present Louisiana law, but would be equipped to satisfy even the most ridiculous future demands anti-choice lawmakers could imagine legislating, all while providing attractions to draw and accommodate thousands of abortion seekers from around the entire Gulf South.”
In addition to satisfying the state’s present requirements — such as ambulatory surgical standards, state-led counseling, and a 72-hour waiting period — the facility will feature a space to house a yet-to-be-created holodeck where a woman can interact with a computer-generated, hypothetical future approximation of her unborn child.
“Right now, Louisiana law requires that abortion providers conduct an ultrasound so a woman can see the fetus and hear its heartbeat,” Bush explained, “but that’s only because that’s the limit of today’s technology. Eventually, holodecks like those seen in Star Trek will become a reality, and some choice-hating legislator trying to make a name for himself will likely author a bill requiring a woman to come face-to-face with what some algorithm thinks her fetus would look and sound like in a decade or two. And when that bill is passed by the future morons at the State Capitol and signed into law by an equally moronic governor, we will have the facilities to comply.”
The plan also calls for numerous retailers, restaurants, hotels, and entertainment options for patients and their families biding their time during whatever extended mandatory waiting period lawmakers might throw at them.
Officials who have been pleading for economic investment in that portion of East Baton Rouge Parish see the proposed abortion development as a lifesaver for the area.
“The fetuses may not be viable, but this plan is. It would inject desperately needed lifeblood into North Baton Rouge.”
“This could do for North Baton Rouge what Bass Pro did for Denham Springs. This could be our Cabela’s,” said Metro Councilwoman Chauna Banks, whose district includes the proposed site of the Planned Parenthood facility. “The fetuses may not be viable, but this plan is. It would inject desperately needed lifeblood into North Baton Rouge.”
Banks insisted, “Demand for abortions in the region is high and supply is low. It’s an ideal investment opportunity for the private sector, and we should do everything to make it happen. Lord knows we need this, especially if they take away the zoo.”
The North Baton Rouge Economic Development District also has expressed its support of the Planned Parenthood initiative.
As for those who likely would vehemently oppose the construction of a massive abortion center in the parish, Banks replied, “Private sector developers pretty much have their way in East Baton Rouge. Why should Planned Parenthood be any different?” She added, “At least white conservatives from the rest of the parish would finally give a damn about North Baton Rouge.”