Is abortion an essential or nonessential health service? That’s a debate that’s been raging both online and in the courts during the coronavirus pandemic. While some states have instituted abortion bans during the crisis, others have made statements claiming that abortion remains a critical component of health care. Here’s the latest on the fight to save lives from abortion during COVID-19:
One of the first states to put an abortion ban in place is the State of Ohio in. In a letter sent to abortion clinics across the state, Attorney General Dave Yost ordered the clinics to stop performing abortions. “You and your facility are ordered to immediately stop performing non-essential and elective surgical abortions,” the letter stated. “Non-essential abortions are those that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of the patient.”
If the order was not followed, there was an additional threat of the Department of Health taking all “appropriate measures.” The facilities are allowed to stay open if they offer other services like pap smears, STD testing and services and other reproductive health related issues.
This is done in order to preserve personal protection equipment (PPE) for use in treating coronavirus patients and avoid use on non-life-threatening procedures like plastic surgery, certain types of routine surgeries and surgical abortion.
The case was quickly brought to the courts by pro-abortion activists, dedicated to killing preborn babies while Americans around the country are dying. In the case of Ohio, a judge allowed the ban to stand before the courts issued a temporary restraining order preventing the ban from being applied.
After Ohio filed its abortion ban, Texas issued a similar one banning all non-essential medical procedures including elective abortions. The Texas Executive Order reads in part, “Whereas, a shortage of hospital capacity or personal protective equipment would hinder efforts to cope with the COVID-19 disaster—and Whereas, hospital capacity and personal protective equipment are being depleted by surgeries and procedures that are not medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition or to preserve the life of a patient.” Most doctors across the state agree that it was the right course of action.
“If we don’t follow these guidelines, we may be looking at a catastrophe we may never recover from,” Dr. Randall Shultz, an orthopedic surgeon, said to KXAN Austin. In response, he had to cancel twenty surgeries, and likely more since the initial report on March 23, 2020.
Planned Parenthood and other abortion activists don’t agree with this commonsense medical response to the coronavirus crisis and sued the state. Currently, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made the decision to keep the ban in place, though that may change if the abortion businesses and activists appeal to the Supreme Court.
While some states are trying to save PPE by limiting abortion procedures, other states are going in the opposite direction. Virginia is one of those states. Ever since the Democrats won a majority in the Virginian legislature, the state has shifted radically in a progressive pro-abortion direction. The coronavirus crisis hasn’t changed that. The state has officially stated that abortions are not “elective surgery” though most abortions are not done for medical reasons.
In addition, Virginia participated in a letter requesting that the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration remove the Risk Evaluation Management System (REMS) guidelines for the abortion pill. It’s a system that puts stringent requirements on physicians and hospitals regarding the handling of certain highly dangerous drugs.
Other states that have stated explicit protection for abortion also include Washington, Illinois, New York and New Jersey.
Abortion is not a “necessary” procedure. State governments are right to try and mandate that abortion businesses protect the state and health care services by avoiding unnecessary use of PPE so that other health professionals can save lives.