Dr. Jeffrey Barke, a family physician and the medical director of Pathways to Independence (an organization dedicated to transforming the lives of disadvantaged women) recently criticized California Governor Gavin Newsom’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Barke addressed a rally of people who had gathered to protest the governor’s actions, disparaging Newsom for restricting church attendance and other activities, but not abortions.
In his speech, Barke stated that he represents the “thousands of physicians across the country whose voices are being silenced because we don’t agree with the mainstream media and the experts who are telling us what to do.”
He continued, saying, “Never in the history of this country have we been told that you can’t go to church because it’s ‘non-essential’ but you can go get an abortion because that’s ‘essential.’”
Barke is in agreement with over 30,000 doctors who have declared abortion is never medically necessary and have spoken out against the idea that it’s somehow needed during a global pandemic. The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) deemed the continued practice of abortions in the midst COVID-19 “medically irresponsible.”
Abortion does not treat any disease, and it uses up valuable personal protective equipment (PPE) that is needed by emergency room workers treating the virus. AAPLOG also pointed out if abortion really was an “essential component of comprehensive health care,” then “it would be a part of every obstetric and gynecologic practice.”
Currently, a majority of OB/GYNs refuse to commit the procedure, citing religious objections or opposition to the practice of abortion. The few OB/GYNs who do administer abortions typically only commit a handful each month, meaning the majority of abortionists are employed by independent facilities, and the only medical service they provide are abortions. This makes it rather difficult to claim abortion is health care.
California joins states like New York and Illinois in allowing elective abortions as our country works to save lives during COVID-19. This poses a danger to women’s health due to the side effects of abortion, as patients face the risk of potential infections or hemorrhaging. It also means women cannot access the legitimate medical procedures they may need. As the AAPLOG noted, “Services that do constitute essential health care for women, including routine Pap smears, mammograms, and pelvic exams, are being postponed in order to reduce everyone’s risk of exposure to COVID-19, and to conserve scarce medical resources.” It should be noted that the nation’s most profitable abortion business, Planned Parenthood, does not perform mammograms.
The permissive stance Newsom has taken toward abortion is at odds with previous statements to California residents. Earlier in the month, Newsom informed Californians they must accept there is a “new normal.” He urged residents in the state to continue abiding by social distancing measures “until we get to immunity and a vaccine.” This standard does not appear to apply to abortions, as despite other restrictions, abortion has remained accessible in California.
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