Doctors file lawsuit against Fort Worth for banning all elective surgeries except abortion

abortion, Virginia

Since Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order to suspend nonessential procedures during the coronavirus (COVID-19), there has been a lot of legal back-and-forth. Abbott’s order included abortion procedures, leading providers like Planned Parenthood to ask the U.S. Supreme Court for permission to continue them. While a federal appeals court originally ruled that chemical abortions could be performed, that decision was eventually reversed. 

Abortion services recently resumed in Texas after Abbott permitted elective surgeries to be conducted under certain conditions. However, some Texas cities have not given up when it comes to stopping the abortion industry from exploiting the pandemic for their own gain. 

The Thomas More Society filed a lawsuit on behalf of doctors who have been forced to suspend their nonessential services while abortion providers continue to operate. The complaint contends that the city of Forth Worth, Mayor Betsy Price, and two abortion vendors are acting in violation of Texas law. Though Price issued a stay-at-home order prohibiting elective procedures within city limits, abortion businesses have not been held to it. Filing the lawsuit in Tarrant County district court, the complaint is requesting that the stay-at-home order be amended to include abortions, or be declared invalid. 

READ: Abortion giant Planned Parenthood seeks PPE donations during COVID-19 pandemic

Whole Woman’s Health in Fort Worth and Southwest Fort Worth Health Center are named as defendants in the suit alongside the city and its mayor. The plaintiffs are oral surgeons Gregory B. Scheideman, William F. Runyon Jr., David W. Kostohryz Jr., orthodontist John Kelley, and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG). Additional plaintiffs listed include the surgeons’ practices, Fort Worth Oral Surgery PA, and Kelley Orthodontics.


While the defendants in the suit have yet to respond, the complaint accuses abortion providers in Fort Worth of “selfishly consuming personal protective equipment on elective and unlawful abortions, at a time when every piece of personal protective equipment must be conserved, to the maximum possible extent, for workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and others who are providing life-saving or essential medical treatments.”

This endangers healthcare professionals, the Thomas More Society has noted, as absent a ban, abortion businesses are “squandering scarce personal protective equipment on elective procedures.” As a result, medical professionals working hard to save lives during COVID-19 may “suffer probable, imminent, and irreparable injury….”

Speaking on Fort Worth’s inconsistent stay-at-home order, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Society, Tom Brejcha said, “The City of Fort Worth cannot order a suspension of all ‘elective’ surgeries and procedures and then carve out special dispensations for abortion providers. If the city is halting elective procedures to preserve personal protective equipment for the COVID-19 pandemic, then elective abortions must be stopped as well. That is especially true when the law of Texas continues to define abortion as a criminal offense unless the mother’s life is in danger.”

If the temporary injunction is granted, the city’s stay-at-home order will be lifted until it is reworked to prohibit abortions. 

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