A federal judge has blocked Ohio’s ban on abortion during the coronavirus pandemic just hours after Planned Parenthood, Preterm Cleveland, and other abortion facilities made the request. Senior U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett temporarily blocked the ban for 14 days, but he also said he may issue a preliminary injunction to allow abortions to continue while the abortion facilities prepare their legal fight.
Earlier this month, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost sent letters to abortion facilities ordering them to stop committing “non-essential and elective” surgical abortions. The letters were sent after a request was made by the Ohio Department of Health. Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton had previously signed an order cancelling all elective surgeries in order to keep hospital beds free, and make as much personal protective equipment (PPE), like hospital gowns and surgical masks, available as possible. In the letters, Ohio Deputy Attorney General Jonathan Fulkerson pointed out that surgical abortions require PPE, which there is a gross shortage of, and will be needed as the coronavirus pandemic worsens.
This graph is talking about levels of #PPE – what our hospitals have. The yellow shows critical shortages. We are working to double the current capacity. They need all the increased equipment, staff, and location. pic.twitter.com/K8DWg3KzBE
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 30, 2020
Gov. Mike DeWine later weighed in on the issue, confirming that abortions in which the woman’s life is not at risk violate the state’s order banning elective and non-essential surgeries. “We’re certainly aware that groups would like certain classes of surgeries and particularly, we’re well aware of the situation with abortion,” Dan Tierney, a spokesman for DeWine, said. “There are some people who would like to see it be declared essential across the board, and there are people who feel the opposite way, but the way the order is written, it does not address particular types of surgery.”
A ban in Texas was likewise struck down by a federal judge earlier today, while Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have announced lawsuits against a handful of states to ensure they can continue to commit abortions during the pandemic. It appears that their efforts have a good chance at being successful, calling into question why it is that abortion is held apart from legitimate medical procedures which are being halted without issue.
“So two federal judges say it’s ‘unconstitutional’ to temporarily ban abortion during this #coronavirus pandemic. Why?” Ryan Scott Bomberger, co-founder of The Radiance Foundation, wrote on Facebook. “Abortion is touted as a ‘woman’s right to choose’, therefore it’s elective. Why does the abortion industry receive separate and unequal treatment? While all other elective (real) medical procedures have been banned during this time, abortion businesses claim ‘constitutionality’ from a ruling that was heinously unconsitutional (#RoeVWade)?”
It does not seem to matter to the abortion industry that abortion is not a medical need, nor that it will potentially put countless women and health care workers at right. All that matters is making sure abortion remains as widespread as possible, even during a pandemic.
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