Governor of Alaska declares surgical abortion ‘nonessential’

PPE, Alaska

On April 7th, Alaskan Governor Mike Dunleavy released a COVID-19 update expanding on the medical procedures to be postponed in the state in an effort to save personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers dealing with the virus. Included in this mandate is the restriction of surgical abortions, among other nonessential surgeries. The update states, “Healthcare providers are to postpone surgical abortion procedures unless the life or physical health of the mother is endangered by continuation of the pregnancy during the period of postponement.”

Declaring surgical abortion a “nonessential” surgery has angered many. According to the Associated Press, Jessica Cher, Alaska’s state director for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii said that abortion is an “essential, time-sensitive medical procedure.” She went on to say, “It is shameful to see elected officials exploit a public health crisis to score political points and restrict abortion access.”

READ: Protecting the weakest: These states demand an end to surgical abortions during the COVID-19 pandemic

However, over 30,000 obstetricians and gynecologists have stated that abortion is not medically necessary, and therefore, should not be allowed during a global pandemic. The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) explained, “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.”

Beyond adding to the shortage of PPE, as AAPLOG stated, abortion also places a heavier burden on hospitals when it comes to abortion complications. AAPLOG noted:

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.

As many have noted in the past, abortion — defined as the intentional killing of a human in the womb — is never truly medically necessary.


“Elective abortions offer zero health benefits to women and do not treat a disease process,” says AAPLOG. This is indeed the case with abortion at all times — not just during a pandemic.

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