Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) has announced that due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) it will temporarily close 11 of its facilities in the state beginning Monday, March 23. However, it plans to consolidate its “services” — and employees — to six remaining facilities, three of which commit surgical abortions. The facilities of Near North, Aurora, and Springfield all commit surgical abortions, and the remaining three (Austin, Flossmoor, and Peoria) — along with Springfield — commit chemical abortion by abortion pill. Some of these facilities will extend their hours.
PPIL did not say how long the facilities would be closed but anticipated that it would be for at least “the next few weeks.” The state, along with several others, now has a “shelter in place” order from its governor, set to go into effect on Saturday.
“Planned Parenthood of Illinois is taking all necessary precautions to keep our staff and patients healthy and well,” said Dr. Amy Whitaker, Chief Medical Officer at PPIL. “This temporary consolidation of services is just one part of that. Patients will still need family planning services and abortion care during this time, and we are committed to providing it.”
But what happens if and when a surgical abortion or abortion pill patient experiences complications? They must seek emergency care at already-burdened emergency rooms.
We are closing businesses and temp. ruining our economy in an effort to save thousands of lives, yet Planned Parenthood continues to take them. Abortion is not an essential service. All #abortion facilities should be closed alongside other non-essential businesses in Los Angeles. https://t.co/VkjT5yFmhq
— Kristan Hawkins (@KristanHawkins) March 20, 2020
As doctors across the country cancel elective surgeries, Planned Parenthood still considers abortion to be non-elective, calling itself “an essential health care provider.” However, they are telling patients to reschedule what they consider “non-essential appointments” and that those seeking birth control or concerned about urinary tract infections should call Planned Parenthood Direct.
Continuing to offer abortions as if they are part of “essential” health care — when in reality, every abortion claims at least one human life — puts an unnecessary burden on a healthcare system that is currently pulling out all the stops in an attempt to save the lives of human beings suffering from COVID-19. This is counterproductive and contradictory in every way.
The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) noted in a press release:
Continuing to perform elective abortions during a pandemic is medically irresponsible. Abortions use up much needed resources such as masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment. The practice also potentially generates more patients to be seen in already overburdened emergency rooms.
Approximately 5% of women who undergo medication abortions will require evaluation in the hospital, most commonly for hemorrhage. Uterine perforation and hemorrhage can occur with surgical abortions.
Because most abortion providers do not manage their own complications, instead instructing women to go to an ER if they have problems, emergency rooms who are already struggling to keep up with the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to need to provide care to these women. Our nation faces a critical blood shortage during this time, which will also negatively impact women’s health who experience abortion-related hemorrhage.
And yet, in states like Massachusetts — and many others — abortion is excluded from a list of “nonessential” procedures and will be allowed to continue unabated. California appears to be taking the same approach, though the entire state has just been placed under a mandated “stay at home” order with the closing of all “non-essential” businesses:
In CA, where Newsom has issued a stay at home order and closed non-essential businesses, Planned Parenthood affiliates remain open. The PP of the Pacific Southwest website says: “We are accepting new appointments for essential services only, including birth control and abortion.”
— Alexandra DeSanctis (@xan_desanctis) March 20, 2020
Ohio has also mandated that for a time, non-essential surgeries must be halted in the state, but pro-life group Created Equal reported in an email today that citizens are reporting that abortion facilities there are still in operation.
Tragically yet predictably, the abortion industry and its media friends are pushing for greater access to abortion during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, and are lobbying for the Food and Drug Administration to temporarily lift its safety protocols to make the abortion pill more freely available during a time when the rest of America is attempting to save lives.
Editor’s Note, 3/21: A statement from AAPLOG has been added.
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