Published: Tue, March 24, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Abortion Clinics Are Given a Strict Pandemic Order

Abortion Clinics Are Given a Strict Pandemic Order

For continuing coverage of how COVID-19 is affecting reproductive health, check out our Special Report.

Declaring a medical procedure as "nonessential" would mean postponement for those seeking care.

"This is an unprecedented time & people's health & safety must be protected; but the gov't shouldn't use this crisis as an excuse to target clinics & try to take away the ability of Ohioans to access abortion, which is time-sensitive, essential health care", the ACLU of OH tweeted.

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Texas anti-abortion activists hailed the move amid the COVID-19 crisis.

"Pregnancy and abortion care are time-sensitive and can not be significantly delayed without profound consequences on patient health and well-being", the NARAL president said.

"The consequences of being unable to obtain an abortion profoundly impact a person's life, health and well-being", the statement said.

Surgical abortions, Ohio Deputy Attorney General Jonathan Fulkerson wrote, require personal protective equipment.

The state wants to ensure all supplies of personal protective equipment are used for those medical personnel who are dealing with the spread of the infection caused by the coronavirus that originated in China.

In a release on Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton warned that all licensed health care professionals and facilities, including abortion providers, must postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary.

In her order, Acton defined a non-essential surgery as "any procedure that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of a patient".

Yost's order stemmed from an OH policy prohibiting elective surgeries as the state attempts to preserve medical equipment.

Restaurants ordered to close dine-in services as total case number climbs
Ten people have now died from COVID-19 in B.C., nine of whom are linked to the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver. She said testing capacity continues to increase and the province continues to test thousands of cases.


Surgical abortions, the letters say, "involve the use of PPE".

"This is not an abortion issue", Bethany McCorkle, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Attorney General's Office, told CNN. In Ohio, abortion has been deemed a "non-essential" service under a new order barring non-essential services amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"Already we see people, even people that I know personally, whose elective surgeries have been postponed due to this pandemic", she said in a phone interview. "Abortion is an essential, time-sensitive medical procedure".

Texas follows OH in ordering the temporary prohibition of surgical abortions as states limit operations they deem elective or nonessential.

On its face, this order forbids all abortions.

Pro-choice advocates hit out at the state's attempt to include abortions in the nonessential surgery category.

This is sick. It's nearly as if they know abortion will be considered non-essential - BECAUSE IT IS - and are trying to get out in front of the issue with more abortion distortion.

Rewire.News has asked Hogan's office for clarification on the matter.

The Attorney General's office is not ignoring the unlawful actions of these abortion facilities. Yost wrote that the procedures violate a March 17 order issued by the state health director. "However, the ultimate decision is based on clinical judgment by the caring physician". "Our doors remain open for this care".

The order allowed four exceptions - including a threat to the patient's life if not performed; threat of permanent dysfunction of the patient's organs, risk of progression or metastasis of a disease; a time-sensitive risk of rapidly worsening symptoms.

The Washington state government does not consider abortion services as part of the "nonessential" category for COVID-19 emergency response policy, according to the Washington Post.

OH has been one of several states nationwide that have attempted to enact restrictions on access to abortion in the state.

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