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New Orleans

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United States / Louisiana / New Orleans
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OVERVIEW

In New Orleans, you will find many health care resources and support groups, but there are notable restrictions. The city is renowned for its sexual openness and LGBT community. However, the state of Louisiana has also passed laws that make access to contraception and abortion more difficult for people. For these reasons, it's critical that one understands which organizations and resources to reach out to. Generally speaking, you will be able to obtain hormonal contraception (birth control pills) if you're an adult or married minor and hold a prescription. You can purchase condoms in pharmacies and markets. Emergency contraception (also known as the "morning after pill") is legally available to all women without a prescription. You can receive STI tests at public facilities if you're a Louisiana and/or New Orleans resident. If you are not a local resident, you can get tested at many clinics, non-profits or Planned Parenthood. You can also access PrEP in New Orleans. Regarding pregnancy, maternity leave is granted on a federal level under FMLA, although this only applies to some employees. Louisiana has an additional maternity leave policy, called Louisiana Pregnancy Disability Leave, which also only applies to some individuals and grants 6 weeks of leave for normal pregnancies and births. The most restrictive laws in Louisiana apply to abortion. You will find that, while abortion is legal on a national level, there are many state-imposed restrictions that limit accessibility and make the experience much more difficult for women. However, abortions are still performed in New Orleans, and a recent Supreme Court decision struck down the state's attempt to further restrict abortion.

Contraception (Birth Control)[edit]

General Note: There are many types of contraceptives, also known as "birth control," including IUDs, oral contraceptives, patches, shots, and condoms, etc. If you would like to view a full list, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Louisiana, you need a prescription to obtain hormonal birth control. If you're an unmarried minor, you need parental consent to obtain birth control. If you're a married minor, you don't need parental consent to obtain birth control. However, if you're an unmarried minor, you should check out Title X clinics. Title X clinics are available to all people, regardless of their age or if they have parental consent, and they may even be able to give you birth control at a reduced cost or no cost at all depending on your financial situation.

You can buy condoms in Louisiana in drugstores, pharmacies, grocery stores or online. Teenagers can legally buy condoms. You can also get condoms for a reduced cost at health clinics, STI Testing centers and local health departments.

The age of consent in Louisiana is 17 years old. It is not required to teach sex-education in public schools, and local school boards decide whether to teach sex-ed. Furthermore, there is no state requirement to teach students about contraceptives, such as the pill, patch or shots. When sex education is included in public schools, the curriculum often stresses abstinence and saving sex for marriage.[1] This may contribute to the high HIV infection rate in New Orleans, as well as teen pregnancy. Since 2010, over 2500 New Orleans teenagers have participated in sex education programs, funded by new federal grants aimed at reducing teen pregnancy. Unfortunately, however, sex education remains both contentious and overlooked in many public schools.[2]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Birth control sold in the USA
Condoms

For a list of clinics that provide free or low-cost birth control in New Orleans, please visit this link. For a full list of recommended women's clinics and health centers in New Orleans, visit the "Gynecological Exams" section. Below, you will find some recommendations of health centers and pharmacies to visit, but there are many more in the New Orleans area.

  • Planned Parenthood New Orleans Health Center: You can obtain birth control prescriptions and birth control. If you qualify as low-income, you may even be able to obtain free birth control. They have the birth control implant, birth control patch, birth control pill, birth control shot, birth control vaginal ring (NuvaRing), diaphragm, condom, female condom, IUD (hormonal), IUD (copper), spermicide. "We are open six days a week and walk-ins are welcome. Next-day appointments are available. We accept all Medicaid plans, Take Charge Plus, and many commercial insurance plans, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, and Humana." Address: 4636 S Claiborne Ave, New Orleans, LA 70125, USA. p: 504.897.9200 | f: 404.494.7435
  • St. Vincent De Paul Community Pharmacy - New Orleans: "Since 1998, The Society of Vincent de Paul Community Pharmacy has offered prescription medication to free of charge to the underserved population of the New Orleans Community; namely the homeless, indigent and elderly-this group of individuals on a fixed income and in most cases, cannot afford needed medication prescribed by physicians." Address: New Orleans, LA - 70119, (504) 940-1904. For more information, call 504-940-5031, ext. 15 or ext. 17.
  • Tulane Adolescent Drop-in Clinic: Provides birth control, pregnancy tests, STI tests, etc. "For over 15 years the Drop-In Center has filled a void in New Orleans by providing both medical and social services for runaway and homeless youth. The overall mission of the Drop-In Center is to improve the health and quality of life of homeless youths, between the ages of 14 to 23 years, by providing for and broadening the comprehensive network of primary healthcare and substance abuse, mental health, case management and outreach services." Address: 1434 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA, 70116-1912, (504) 988-1667
  • St. Thomas Community Health Center: "Our goal is to keep you and your family healthy, regardless of your insurance status or ability to pay. We accept most insurance plans, Medicaid, Medicare and offer services on a sliding scale for uninsured and underinsured. " Address: 1020 Saint Andrew St., New Orleans, LA, 70130, (504) 529-5558
  • Family Care Services Center (Crescent Care): 4640 South Carrollton Avenue, New Orleans, LA, 70119, (504) 378-0427

Costs[edit]

If you're interested in obtaining low-cost birth control, visit a women's clinic or Planned Parenthood. A pack of twelve condoms costs about $12. Female condoms are about $2 to $4 per condom.

Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)[edit]

Important Notes: Emergency contraception may prevent pregnancy for three days (72 hours) and sometimes five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. Take EC as soon as possible after unprotected sex. If you don't have access to dedicated EC, oral contraceptives can be used as replacement EC, but remember the following: 1) Only some contraceptives work as EC 2) Different contraceptives require different dosages and time schedules to work as EC 3) You must only use the first 21 pills in 28-day packs and 4) They may be less effective than dedicated EC. For general information on emergency contraceptives, click here and here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In the United States, you are legally entitled to purchase emergency contraception (also known as "the morning after pill" or "Plan B") at pharmacies. You can legally purchase Plan B-One Step without a prescription and regardless of age. However, some other emergency contraception pills, such as the LNG pills, may require a prescription in some states.

While women are legally entitled to purchase emergency contraception, they are sometimes denied accessibility at some pharmacies, hospitals or clinics in the United States. If this is the case, please visit the facilities we visit below (in the "What to Get & Where to Get It" section).

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Costs[edit]

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs/STDs)[edit]

Important Notes - Learn about PEP and PrEP: If you think that you've been recently exposed to HIV (i.e. within 72 hours), seek out PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis). It's a month-long treatment to prevent HIV infection after exposure, and it may be available in your city. Take PEP as soon as possible. For more information, click here. If you are at risk of HIV exposure, seek out PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). It's a daily oral pill that can prevent HIV infection before exposure. To learn more about PrEP, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

You can get PrEP in New Orleans. According to We PrEP Together: "Did you know that 1 in 8 Americans with HIV are unaware they are infected? In Louisiana, it’s 1 in 5. PrEP allows those who are at high risk of contracting HIV to take control of their sexual health. Taking PrEP once a day can decrease the risk of contracting HIV by up to 92%! If you are HIV-negative – and we all want to keep it that way – PrEP may be right for you!" Check out this map to see all the locations, which include:

  • St. Thomas Community Health Center: 1020 St Andrew St, New Orleans, LA 70130. 504.529.5558. Open 7:30AM – 5:00PM, M-F.
  • St. Thomas at Mahalia Jackson: Building B, Suite 222, 2405 Jackson Ave, New Orleans, LA 70113, +1 504-359-6950. Open 7:00AM – 3:00PM, M-F.
  • Columbia Parc Health Center: 3943 St Bernard Ave, New Orleans, LA 70122, +1 504-529-5558. 504.529.5558. Open 7:30AM – 4:30PM, M-F.
  • L.B. Landry Community Clinic: 1200 L B Landry Ave, New Orleans, LA 70114, +1 504-529-5558. Open 7:30AM – 4:30PM, M-F
  • Donald T. Erwin Center: 1936 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130, 504.529.5558. Open 7:30AM – 5:00PM, M-F

Testing Facilities[edit]

  • Planned Parenthood New Orleans Health Center: Tests for STD testing, diagnosis and treatment, including: bacterial vaginosis (BV), chlamydia, genital warts, gonorrhea, herpes, HIV (testing and diagnosis only), syphilis, trichomoniasis (trich) Other STD testing, diagnosis and treatment services are also available. "We are open six days a week and walk-ins are welcome. Next-day appointments are available. We accept all Medicaid plans, Take Charge Plus, and many commercial insurance plans, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, and Humana." Address: 4636 S Claiborne Ave, New Orleans, LA 70125, USA. p: 504.897.9200 | f: 404.494.7435
  • Louisiana Office of Public Health (Delgado STD Clinic): Open to residents of Louisiana. Sliding scale basis.Bring photo ID and proof of income/address. Call for appointment. Address: 517 North Rampart Street, New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-658-2540. Mon-Fri 8:00AM-4:00PM
  • NO/AIDS Task Force - The Movement: HIV & Syphilis screening open to anyone, walk-ins welcome. Free screening and treatment for Syphilis, Gonorrhea, & Chlamydia for Gay, Bi, & Queer identified men and transgender individuals. Address: 2610 Esplanade Ave., Suite 2B (upstairs), New Orleans, LA 70119, (504) 267-4288
  • Covenant House Drop-in Clinic: Address: Tests Offered: HIV, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, & Chlamydia. Free for patients 14-23 years old & appointment only.611 N. Rampart St., New Orleans, LA 70112. (504) 584-1119
  • City of New Orleans Health Department (Ida Hymel Health Clinic): Call for appointment. Must be a resident of Orleans parish. Sliding scale basis. Bring photo ID and proof of income/address. Address: 1111 Newton Street, New Orleans, LA 70114, 504-364-2023, Mon-Fri 8:00AM-3:00PM.
  • City of New Orleans Health Department (Saint Bernard Health Clinic): Call for appointment. Open to residents of New Orleans. Sliding scale basis. Bring photo ID and proof of income/address.Address: 3639 Saint Bernard Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70122, 504-286-2165, Mon-Fri 8:00AM-4:00PM
  • Excelth Family Health Center: Call for appointment. Open to residents of New Orleans. Sliding scale basis. Bring photo ID and proof of income/address.Address: 2050 Caton Street, New Orleans, LA 70122, 504-620-9868, Mon-Thu 7:00AM-6:00PM; Fri 8:00AM-5:00PM.

Support[edit]

  • Louisiana Office of Public Health - STD/HIV Program: 1450 Poydras St., Suite 2136, New Orleans, LA 70112, phone: 504-568-7474, fax: 504-568-7044
  • New Orleans Regional AIDS Planning Council: "The mission of the New Orleans Regional AIDS Planning Council is to develop and maintain a comprehensive system of care for persons living with HIV/AIDS in the New Orleans area that is accessible, responsive, culturally sensitive and of the highest quality to ensure that all persons living with HIV/AIDS live with dignity."
  • Women with a Vision: "Women With A Vision, Inc. (WWAV) is a community-based non-profit, founded in 1989 by a grassroots collective of African-American women in response to the spread of HIV/AIDS in communities of color. Created by and for women of color, WWAV is a social justice non-profit that addresses issues faced by women within our community and region. Major areas of focus include Sex Worker Rights, Drug Policy Reform, HIV Positive Women’s Advocacy, and Reproductive Justice outreach."
  • NO AIDS Task Force: "For 30 years, NO/AIDS Task Force has been providing hope, care and compassion to thousands of men, women and families affected by HIV & AIDS. The Task Force acknowledges that the complications of HIV-disease are not just physical, but mental, emotional and social as well. That is why our agency offers a full spectrum of care at low to no cost, including services such as: an HIV medical clinic, food pantry, home delivered meals, housing, mental health, peer support and many others. NO/AIDS also remains committed to the health of our entire community and reaches over 20,000 each year through HIV prevention education efforts."
  • Brotherhood Incorporated: "The agency provides housing (Transitional and Low Income), health education, various trainings and linkages to support services to the New Orleans community through various programs. Staff of the organization are members of various organizations such as; New Orleans Regional AIDS Planning Council, the Louisiana HIV Prevention Community Planning Group, the American Public Health Association, the American Red Cross, and the National Minority AIDS Council."
  • Belle Reve: Belle Reve is a live-in facility for people living with HIV/AIDS. 3027 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70117. (504) 945-9455.

Costs[edit]

Medications & Vaccines[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Costs[edit]

Menstruation[edit]

Note: In addition to pads and tampons, you can also use menstrual cups and menstrual underwear for your period. To learn more about menstrual cups, click here. To learn more about menstrual underwear, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

In New Orleans, you can find pads, tampons, pantyliners and menstrual cups. You can find many menstrual products, including menstrual cups, at drug stores like Walgreens and CVS. For organic menstrual products, you can visit Whole Foods, Winn Dixie or Rouses. You can also purchase menstrual underwear online through the Thinx website.

Costs[edit]

Gynecological Exams[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Check out this extensive list of recommended ob/gyns in New Orleans.
  • Planned Parenthood New Orleans Health Center: "New Orleans Health Center offers the following women's health services: checkups when you have a reproductive/sexual health problem, breast exams, cervical cancer screening, colposcopy, cryotherapy, hormone replacement therapy, incontinence education, incontinence treatment, infertility education, mammogram referrals, menopause and midlife – testing and treatment, Pap test, urinary tract infections – testing and treatment, vaginal infections – testing and treatment Other services we may provide include help with irregular periods or no periods, painful periods, painful sex, bleeding between periods, menstrual problems (premenstrual syndrome) or even a lost tampon." f"We are open six days a week and walk-ins are welcome. Next-day appointments are available. We accept all Medicaid plans, Take Charge Plus, and many commercial insurance plans, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, and Humana." Address: 4636 S Claiborne Ave, New Orleans, LA 70125, USA. p: 504.897.9200 | f: 404.494.7435
  • St. Thomas Community Health: Has multiple locations. Sliding scale fees. "St. Thomas Community Health Center is your medical home, offering high quality, affordable care. Our robust teams of dedicated Internal Medicine Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Pediatricians, Psychologists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, OB/GYNS, Dermatologists, and others work as a team to address your individual health needs and ensure you receive the highest quality of care."

Costs[edit]

Pregnancy[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In the United States, some employees are entitled to maternity leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), but FMLA does not cover all companies. If a company has less than 50 employees, it is not required to comply with FMLA. However, Louisiana also provides Louisiana Disability Pregnancy Leave, which applies to companies with at least 25 employees. Under this law, women who has undergone normal pregnancies and childbirth receive six weeks of leave, while women who have experienced disabling pregnancies receive four months of leave.[3]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Janet Ross, MD: 3525 Prytania St, Ste 206, New Orleans, LA 70115. Phone number (504) 897-8281.

Costs[edit]

Abortion[edit]

Important Note: There are two main types of abortions: medical (also known as the "abortion pill") and surgical (also known as "in-clinic"). For medical abortions, you take a pill to induce abortion. For surgical abortions, a procedure is performed to induce abortion. For general information about medical and surgical abortions, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In the United States, abortion is legal, according to the Roe v. Wade decision (1973). However, in Louisiana, there are restrictions on abortion access, which make it less readily available. For an abortion to be performed, the patient must be adult or a minor who has received parental approval. The abortion must be performed before 20 weeks of post-fertilization (i.e. 22 weeks after last menstrual cycle). After or at 20 weeks of post-fertilization, abortion is only permitted if the woman’s life or physical is endangered, or if the pregnancy is “medically futile,” meaning that the fetus would be perceived to feel pain at that point.[4]

If a woman wishes to receive an abortion in Louisiana, she must first receive counseling 24 hours before the procedure. During the counseling session, the patient will receive documents that detail potential risks and complications associated with abortion. These documents will also provide a directory of alternative services. Furthermore, the counseling session will include an ultrasound, which determines the state of the pregnancy (i.e. how far along). The health care provider must show and describe the ultrasound images to the woman. There will also be lab work to determine blood RH factors and check iron levels. Patients will watch an informational video about pregnancy options as well. Following the counseling session and 24-hour wait period, patients can set up an appointment.[5]

In Louisiana, you can obtain a medical or surgical abortion. The use of telemedicine for medical abortions is not permitted.

The state of Louisiana has tried to further restrict abortion access. As reported by the New York Times in 2015, "The Supreme Court on Friday temporarily blocked a Louisiana law that its opponents say would leave the state with only one abortion clinic... The Louisiana law, enacted in 2014, requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. A trial judge blocked the law, saying that such doctors were often unable to obtain admitting privileges for reasons unrelated to their competence and that the law created an undue burden on a woman’s constitutional right to abortion."[6]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Women's Healthcare Center: All female staff. Provides medical and surgical abortions. "At Women's Health Care Center, we have all female physicians. We understand the importance of your individual needs. It is our goal to make you feel comfortable and to know you are in the care of dedicated, qualified doctors who are devoted to you and your well-being. You deserve to have your doctor listen carefully and understand your unique situation." Address: 2701 General Pershing, New Orleans, Louisiana 70115, (504) 899-6010
  • New Orleans Abortion Fund: "In partnership with the National Network of Abortion Funds, the New Orleans Abortion Fund is a community-based 501(c)(3) organization rooted in social justice, with the purpose of challenging inequalities of class, gender, race and immigrant status by providing financial help to women who cannot afford the full cost of an abortion. We affirm a woman's right to control her body and her destiny, and work to ensure that all women have access to quality medical care, regardless of their economic situation." Email: abortionfundnola@gmail.com
  • New Orleans Judicial Bypass Project: "The Louisiana Judicial Bypass Project is a coalition made up of law students from Tulane University Law School’s Law Students for Reproductive Justice organization and attorneys from the New Orleans area who are passionate about defending women’s rights to obtain the reproductive health services they need."

Costs[edit]

Nationwide, the abortion pill can cost $800, but often less. For an in-clinic procedure, abortions can cost $1500, but often less. Note that the ultrasound and procedures required by Louisiana state law will create additional expenses, which may be $150 or up. As reported by Guttmacher Institute, "Health plans that will be offered in the state’s health exchange under the Affordable Care Act may not provide coverage of abortion... Public funding is available for abortion only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest."[7]

Advocacy & Counseling[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • If you have been abused and are in need of support, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) may be able to provide help and counseling. Visit their website call their 24-hour crisis hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.
  • NAMI New Orleans: "NAMI Peer-to-Peer is a free, 10-session course for adults living with mental health problems. NAMI Peer‐to‐Peer provides an educational setting focused on recovery that offers respect, understanding, encouragement and hope. The NAMI Peer-to-Peer education program is: Free and confidential Held once a week for two hours..."
  • Metropolitan Center for Women and Children: Has a 24-hour crisis hotline: 504-837-5400. Toll Free: 1-888-411-1333. Mission: "To break the cycle of violence and aid survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking through advocacy, intervention, empowerment and transformation."
  • New Orleans Family Justice Center: 24 Hr Crisis Hotline (504) 866-9554. LA Statewide Hotline: 1-800 411-1333. "New Orleans Family Justice Center is a partnership of agencies dedicated to ending family violence, child abuse, sexual assault, and stalking through prevention and coordinated response by providing comprehensive client-centered, empowerment services in a single location."

Costs[edit]

List of Additional Resources[edit]

  • New Orleans NOW: "Your local NOW chapter brings feminists together to address issues concerning women's rights and health in our community and state. We host and share social activities and educational programs throughout the year designed to encourage participation, friendship and connecting with others who share our views. Our six core issues are: Reproductive Rights and Justice, Ending, Violence Against Women, Economic Justice, LGBT Rights, Racial Justice, Constitutional Equality Amendment."
  • LGBT Community Center of New Orleans: "Our mission is to provide resources and advocacy that foster community development and social and economic justice efforts. We undertake these efforts to strengthen the collective power of gender and sexual minorities and their allies in the Greater New Orleans area."
  • Forum for Equality Louisiana: "We advocate for policy change at the local, state, and federal levels. We organize grassroots equality advocates to engage in the political process. We educate the public about the experiences, values, and needs of LGBTQ people."

References[edit]

  1. Sex and HIV Education
  2. Youth sex education to expand in southeast Louisiana
  3. Louisiana Family and Medical Leave Laws
  4. State Facts About Abortion: Louisiana
  5. Women's Health Center - Louisiana Abortion Details
  6. Supreme Court Blocks Louisiana Abortion Law
  7. State Facts About Abortion: Louisiana