NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Archdiocese of New Orleans warns it will boycott businesses that consider helping Planned Parenthood construct a new facility Uptown.
"We cannot cooperate with evil." This is the message Archbishop Gregory Aymond sent to Catholics in a letter published in the Clarion Herald over the weekend.
Aymond's letter issues a stern warning. In it he says, "The Archdiocese...will strive in its privately funded work not to enter into business relationships with any person or organization that participates in actions that are essential to making this abortion facility a reality."
Benjamin Clapper, executive director of the Louisiana Right to Life Federation says, "I think he's clearly making sure that the people of this city understand and know who Planned Parenthood is, what they're doing and then to make sure that they're fully informed when they consider decisions that would be made about working with Planned Parenthood."
New Orleans CityBusiness editor Greg LaRose of Aymond's message, "This I think is fairly unprecedented."
LaRose says the Archdiocese of New Orleans is itself constantly growing and spending millions of dollars on construction projects. "It does, I think, catch the attention of contractors knowing that they are one of for the lack of a better term, big spenders, in the market."
LaRose believes the threat of being blacklisted could scare some companies away from the Planned Parenthood project.
Pro-choice advocates say they're troubled, but not surprised to hear of the archbishop's comments. "I can certainly understand concerns that businesses have but I do hope that they keep the needs and the best interests of women in our community in the forefront of their mind," said Jessie Nieblas, with the New Orleans Abortion Fund.
The 8,000-square-foot facility on South Claiborne Avenue would be the first Planned Parenthood site in New Orleans at which abortions are performed.
In December, the City of New Orleans gave final approval to a construction permit for the project.
We reached out to Planned Parenthood for comment on this story. We received a statement that said Planned Parenthood will continue to do everything possible to ensure women and men in Louisiana have access to the full range of reproductive health care they need.