Abortion Clinics Are Given a Strict Pandemic Order

Grant Boone
March 24, 2020

For continuing coverage of how COVID-19 is affecting reproductive health, check out our Special Report.

Declaring a medical procedure as "nonessential" would mean postponement for those seeking care. Abortion centers are not above the law.

Want more Rewire.News? Get the facts, direct to your inbox.

The order is aimed at making sure hospitals have enough personnel and resources to provide care to patients who become ill from COVID-19. "Women deserve better than a craven exploitation of a health care crisis in furtherance of an anti-abortion agenda". "Denying or delaying abortion care places an immediate burden on patients, their families, and the health system, and can have profound and lasting consequences".

"You and your facility are ordered to immediately stop performing non-essential and elective surgical abortions".

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced the decision on Friday, saying that it fell under the Ohio governor's public health order to cancel any "non-essential elective surgeries or procedures" that require personal protective equipment like masks and gloves.

Paxton's office says the ban is essential to preserve Texas' stock of personal protective equipment.

Most abortion clinics in OH intend to defy an order by Ohio's attorney general to stop performing abortions and any other elective surgical procedures that require the use of crucial personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, that are now in short supply because of an influx of the coronavirus patients, CBS News reported.

During a pandemic, where it's all medical hands on deck, Planned Parenthood (which likes to claim it's a health care provider) has one "goal", "expand access to repro health care" - read: Our number one goal is to expand abortion.

An attorney for the Women's Med Center in Kettering said the clinic was complying with the order and had taken steps to "minimize the use" of personal protective equipment before the order went into effect, the Dayton Daily News reported.

Coronavirus: New York Confirms More Than 20,000 Cases, Cuomo Says
He said the state is also calling on retirees and all other professionals in the medical field to help monitor those beds. The state has 3,000 ICU units; health officials say it needs at least 18,000 - and possibly as many as 37,000.

Newsweek has contacted Yost's office for comment. "A letter was also sent to a urology group that was allegedly performing elective surgeries".

"The idea that any abortion can be delayed or is non-essential is beyond comprehension", Mallory McMaster, a reproductive rights advocate in OH, told Rewire.News.

"It is inexcusable that our state's attorney would play politics with a global pandemic", said state Sen.

"Already we see people, even people that I know personally, whose elective surgeries have been postponed due to this pandemic", she said in a phone interview.

An Abbott spokesman confirmed that would cover abortion in most cases while the order is in place until April 21.

Rewire.News has asked Hogan's office for clarification on the matter.

Indeed, officials in Washington state and MA have already sought to clarify that orders barring non-essential services will not affect abortion care. Yost wrote that the procedures violate a March 17 order issued by the state health director. Remaining open risks public health and safety during this national crisis.

The order allowed four exceptions - including a threat to the patient's life if not performed; threat of permanent dysfunction of the patient's organs, risk of progression or metastasis of a disease; a time-sensitive risk of rapidly worsening symptoms.

The Washington state government does not consider abortion services as part of the "nonessential" category for COVID-19 emergency response policy, according to the Washington Post.

Ohio, which has had some of the most aggressive coronavirus-prevention efforts, is also known for some of the most aggressive attempts nationwide to limit access to abortion.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER