The Ohio Health Director Amy Acton has ordered the suspension of all elective surgeries, including surgical abortions (women can still undergo medical/chemical abortions, also known as the abortion pill). The abortion industry has no plans to stop. 

In so many ways, the coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented in modern history. This seems especially true for the abortion industry, which has maintained that it will continue to work throughout the pandemic. Acton has asked the medical profession in general to stop performing any nonessential surgeries. 

According to letters sent out to abortion businesses and other medical facilities, “The order was issued, in part, to preserve PPE (personal protective equipment) 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 request is a completely reasonable request in this crisis, and many doctors across the country are working on prioritizing patients appropriately. PPE remains in short supply around the country and across the world. If hospitals, urgent cares and medical clinics don’t have these supplies, then they run the risk of spreading the virus further and infecting an untold number of people. The ability of medical professionals to treat could also be compromised if they become infected in large numbers due to the lack of PPE.

But when the abortion industry indicated that it wouldn’t comply, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost added his voice to the issue. In a letter, he stated, “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. If you or your facility do not immediately stop performing non-essential or elective surgical abortions in compliance with the (health director’s) order, the Department of Health will take all appropriate measures.”

In response to the state’s letters, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region released a statement: “Planned Parenthood’s top priority is ensuring that every person can continue accessing essential health care, including abortion. We know your health care can’t wait. Abortion is an essential, time-sensitive medical procedure, as medical experts like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology have recognized.” 

But this whole situation raises an interesting question, can the government, which has legalized elective abortion, order abortion clinics to stop performing the procedure in the midst of a crisis?

It’s a question that our country has never had to grapple with before. Abortion is unlike any other elective medical procedure. If an abortion is not performed, a woman either has to seek out a business that can do it later in a pregnancy, which would require her to travel and risk exposure to coronavirus, make an adoption plan, a potentially difficult task given the current environment, or give birth and raise her child. That’s not an easy decision, especially for a woman who has perhaps just lost her job because of the coronavirus, still has $60,000 in student loans and doesn’t have a strong support system to fall back on.

In the midst of all this chaos, for many women abortion might seem like the easier decision. According to one pregnancy resource center, there has even been a “slight increase in abortion-minded clients since the global pandemic began.”

It’s understandable. The future is entirely uncertain, but there still is hope. Pregnancy resource centers remain open and are actively reaching out to abortion minded women within their communities. If you would like to help, contact local pregnancy resource centers in your area and see what supplies they might need like diapers, wipes and menstrual supplies, which are all becoming difficult items to find.

Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses will likely remain under pressure from various states to halt abortions. It will be interesting to see what steps Ohio takes to force abortion business to comply and the lengthy legal battle that likely lies ahead.