Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal yesterday blamed his state’s high teen pregnancy rate, its third-in-the-nation poverty rate and its sexually transmitted infection crisis on Planned Parenthood, claiming that the women’s health provider, which operates two clinics in the state, had failed to make “things better.”
Jindal, in an interview with Iowa talk radio host Simon Conway, reacted to a Des Moines Register editorial that criticized him for cutting off Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood in his state in the wake of recent smear videos. The newspaper’s editorial board notes that few states have a greater need for Planned Parenthood’s services, including affordable STI tests and treatments and contraception than Louisiana, which has some of the highest teen pregnancy and STI rates in the countries, and some of the nation’s worst poverty.
Planned Parenthood’s two Louisiana clinics conduct tens of thousands of STI tests and other health services each year; neither provides abortions.
But Jindal insisted that his state’s abysmal public health and poverty record is just proof that Planned Parenthood is “awful at what they do.”
“If they’re doing such a great job, why aren’t these things better?” he asked. “We should cancel their contract for no other reason, just that they’re awful at what they do.”