Cenla Pregnancy Center ready if Roe v. Wade falls and abortion is illegal in Louisiana

As people await the U.S. Supreme Court decision that is expected to overturn Roe v. Wade, an end to the constitutional right to an abortion, one local group is conducting business as usual.

The Cenla Pregnancy Center in Alexandria, a pro-life non-profit organization in Alexandria, is ready to provide its services to more women even as Executive Director Claire Lemoine said it wishes to stay out of the furor surrounding the issue.

She said the center will continue to provide its services to women with unplanned pregnancies, offering alternatives to abortion.

There's also a center in Marksville, the Avoyelles Pregnancy Center, and one in Vidalia that should open sometime in July, the Miss-Lou Pregnancy Center.

Lemoine said the centers are prepared and always have been to provide services, care and referrals for women.

"We're ready," she said. "We have resources to provide support to women."

The Alexandria center was founded in March 2017 and opened in December 2017. Lemoine has been there from the beginning.

"Some women know they want to parent, and then we meet with some who want to consider another option," she said at the time.

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The Supreme Court is expected to issue its decision any day. A draft opinion leaked from the court in May prompted a rush of activity on both sides of the issue.

Some states have passed laws that trigger bans on abortions once the decision is released. Pro-choice advocates also have been busy, like asking President Biden to support abortion rights through executive orders.

In Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill Tuesday that would immediately criminalize abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned. The bill does not make any exceptions for cases of rape or incest, but women could not be prosecuted under it.

The bill would take Louisiana in the direction one of the center's founders, Pastor Brian Gunter of the First Baptist Church in Pollock, voiced support during February's 6th annual Louisiana Life March Cenla.

"We believe in life from the moment of conception until natural death," he told The Town Talk. "We want to see every life protected by law in the state of Louisiana from the moment of conception until natural death. We are calling for an end to legalized abortion in our state and ultimately our nation."

This article originally appeared on Alexandria Town Talk: Cenla Pregnancy Center stands ready if Roe v. Wade falls, says director