UPDATE, 3/23/20: Other Ohio abortion facilities have followed suit and refuse to halt surgical abortions.
UPDATE 3/22/20: Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio is refusing to comply with the Ohio Attorney General’s order to halt elective surgical procedures in order to ensure vital personal protective equipment (“PPE”) is available to hospital workers dealing with patients who have contracted COVID-19.
In a post on their Facebook page, Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio claimed it is “complying” with the order to stop providing non-essential surgeries and procedures. However, it then stated:
Under that order, Planned Parenthood can still continue providing essential procedures, including surgical abortion […] Our doors remain open.
The Ohio Attorney General’s office sent a letter to Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio’s Cincinnati Surgery Center and the Women’s Med Center in Dayton ordering them “to immediately stop performing non-essential and elective surgical abortions” or face consequences. Yet, Planned Parenthood will not halt abortions. The abortion corporation’s refusal to comply proves Planned Parenthood believes abortion is essential and non-elective, despite the fact that abortion is never medically necessary. By refusing to halt abortions, Planned Parenthood is using PPEs that are desperately needed by doctors working on the front lines of the battle with this global pandemic.
3/21/20: The Ohio Attorney General’s office issued a letter on March 20th to Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio’s Cincinnati Surgery Center, and one to the Women’s Med Center in Dayton, after it came to the Attorney General’s attention that these abortion businesses were still seeing patients for abortion procedures.
The letters issued from AG Dave Yost’s office and signed by Deputy AG Jonathan Fulkerson stated in part (emphasis added):
On March 17, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health issued an order pursuant to the Department’s powers under R.C. 3701.13. That order (attached) cancelled all non-essential or elective surgeries and procedures utilizing personal protective equipment (“PPE”) as of 5:00 p.m. on March 18, 2020. The order was issued, in part, to preserve PPE for health care providers who are battling the COVID-19 pandemic that is spreading in our state and also to preserve critical hospital capacity and resources.
The Ohio Department of Health has received a complaint that your facility has been performing or continues to offer to perform surgical abortions, which necessarily involve the use of PPE. On behalf of the Department, you and your facility are ordered to immediately stop performing non-essential and elective surgical abortions. Non-essential surgical abortions are those that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of a patient. The Department of Health has outlined criteria to consider when determining whether a procedure is essential (see attached order). If you or your facility do not immediately stop performing non-essential or elective surgical abortions in compliance with the attached order, the Department of Health will take all appropriate measures.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, one abortion facility spokeswoman whom the news outlet contacted “pointed to a statement from a consortium of gynecological groups saying clinics should remain open,” disregarding the state of Ohio’s order. This consortium attempted to elevate abortion — the taking of a human being’s life in utero — over and above actual legitimate medical procedures as “an essential component of comprehensive health care. It is also a time-sensitive service for which a delay of several weeks, or in some cases days, may increase the risks or potentially make it completely inaccessible. The consequences of being unable to obtain an abortion profoundly impact a person’s life, health, and well-being.”
But the fact remains that abortion — the deliberate killing of a human being in the womb — is not medically necessary (for more, click here and here). It is especially contradictory to continue this unnecessary killing during a time when extreme measures are being taken to save other human beings’ lives. Abortion is a brutal procedure, and the more the public is exposed to the truth of its violence, the more people realize how unnecessary and abhorrent it is:
According to the Dispatch, Ohio Right to Life president Michael Gonidakis “wrote Friday to Ohio Planned Parenthood President Iris Harvey, accusing the group of violating the state order,” saying that the entity was putting the public’s safety at risk, and that committing surgical abortions in violation of the state’s order “will undoubtedly contribute to the spread of COVID-19 and put the lives of first responders, nurses and doctors in danger.”
The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) also issued a recent press release that emphasized the need to conserve resources for those dealing with COVID-19, writing:
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.
AG Yost’s communications director, Bethany McCorkle, told the Dispatch that even though letters were only issued to two facilities, “the order to stop all non-essential or elective surgeries and procedures that require personal protective equipment applies to all clinics.”
Abortion is not like other medical procedures, despite what its supporters claim. Abortion does the opposite of what true medicine and healthcare are meant to do; it destroys life instead of saving it.
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