Update 4/2/20: Today, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood came to an agreement with the state of Iowa allowing surgical abortions to continue in the state amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Planned Parenthood will resume seeing patients,” said ACLU communications director Veronica Fowler. “We no longer need a temporary injunction because women are once again able to access abortion services. However, we are going to keep the overall lawsuit open just because this is an ever-changing, very fluid situation.”
Though none of those involved have defined what is an “essential” abortion, Fowler stated that the language of the order to postpone all non-essential surgeries could be read to allow “essential” abortions.
3/30/20: Planned Parenthood, along with other pro-abortion organizations, sued government officials in five states on Monday after abortion in those states was deemed a “non-essential” procedure during the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, the abortion corporation also sued the state of Texas for its temporary suspension of elective abortions.
Iowa, Ohio, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Texas each issued orders that either call for — or appear to call for — abortion to be included in non-essential medical procedures that must be postponed during the COVID-19 crisis. As emergency medical teams and hospitals face a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff members trying to save the lives of patients who have coronavirus, abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood insist on remaining open and have even asked for donations of PPE for themselves as they work to end the lives of preborn human beings.
According to The Hill, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued an order that called for all non-essential medical procedures to be suspended until April 16. She confirmed to the Des Moines Register that this includes abortion. Additionally, Alabama suspended non-essential surgeries and Attorney General Steve Marshall said abortion businesses are included in that suspension. In Ohio, Attorney General Dave Yost told abortion businesses directly to stop committing “non-essential elective surgical abortions.” And in Oklahoma, Gov. Kevin Stitt also said that the postponement of elective surgeries during the COVID-19 crisis includes abortions. In Texas, violating the state’s non-essential surgery order is punishable by up to $1,000 or 180 days in jail, according to CBS. The Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood are suing Oklahoma and Texas, while the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood are suing Iowa, Ohio, and Alabama, stating that they aim to “ensure access to abortion during the coronavirus pandemic.” A federal judge has granted Planned Parenthood and the Center of Reproductive Rights a temporary restraining order against Texas’ order. [Editor’s Note, 3/31/20: Today, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay on that ruling, allowing the abortion ban to continue for now.]
“A global pandemic is not an excuse to attack essential, time-sensitive medical procedures like abortion,” said acting Planned Parenthood president and CEO Alex McGill Johnson. However, ending human lives through abortion is always an elective procedure and is never medically necessary. By continuing to commit abortions, Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses are risking the health and well-being of their patients and using equipment that is desperately needed by doctors who are risking their lives to save others. Any woman who experiences complications from an abortion and must visit an emergency room will be putting more stress on medical professionals already struggling to keep up with emergency patients. It will also place women at risk for contracting COVID-19.
“It is unconscionable that abortion providers are fighting against the health of Texans and withholding desperately needed supplies and personal protective equipment in favor of a procedure that they refer to as a ‘choice,’ said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Texas Right to Life said it “is not surprised” that abortion businesses are suing, stating that the “abortion industry has never seen a safety regulation or common-sense health policy they did not believe they should be exempt from […]. Shamefully, they have continued this pattern even during a global pandemic and public health crisis.”
Editor’s Note 3/30/2020: This article has been updated to include further information on the lawsuits.
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