COLUMBUS, Ohio — Following an order from the Department of Health directing medical facilities to halt elective surgeries during the coronavirus crisis in order to preserve resources, the attorney general of Ohio has mandated two abortion clinics who have continued to operate to cease performing non-essential surgical abortions. Abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL are arguing that abortion is always “essential” and that the government is using the outbreak as an opportunity to close their doors.
According to reports, Amy Acton, the director of the Ohio Department of Health, issued a directive on Wednesday stating that “all non-essential or elective surgeries and procedures that utilize [personal protective equipment] should not be conducted.” She outlined that “non-essential surgery” is that which can be postponed without a threat to the patient’s life or without permanent damage to their organs or extremities.
On Friday, Attorney General Dave Yost sent a letter to two abortion facilities after receiving complaints that the locations continued to operate despite the order.
“You and your facility are ordered to immediately stop performing non-essential and elective surgical abortions,” he wrote, according to The Columbus Dispatch. “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 [Acton’s] order, the Department of Health will take all appropriate measures,” he warned.
But abortion advocacy groups assert that abortion is “essential” and must be excluded from the order. Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region argued that they were in compliance with Acton’s order as they don’t view surgical abortions as non-essential.
“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 & Gynecology have recognized,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement. “Planned Parenthood’s top priority is ensuring that every person can continue accessing essential health care, including abortion.”
The abortion giant was pointing to a joint statement released by the two obstetric organizations, which opined in part, “To the extent that hospital systems or ambulatory surgical facilities are categorizing procedures that can be delayed during the COVID-19 pandemic, abortion should not be categorized as such a procedure.”
“Abortion is an essential component of comprehensive health care,” ACOG and ABOG claimed. “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.”
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio likewise released a statement arguing that abortion is an “essential” service and that the government was “exploiting” the crisis to close abortion facilities.
“Abortion care is a time-sensitive medical situation that cannot be significantly delayed without profound consequences,” said executive director Kellie Copeland. “Ohioans are continuing to rely on their trusted community abortion providers during this crisis, and Ohio’s elected officials should not stand between patients and their doctors.”
She posited that abortion will likely be even more in demand with the economy taking a blow due to the state nearly coming to a standstill.
“People decide to end their pregnancies for a complex constellation of reasons that include the impact of pregnancy and birth on their health, ability to work, and strained economic circumstances. These are conditions that do not go away — and are likely heightened — in pandemic conditions,” Copeland remarked. “Denying or delaying abortion care places an immediate burden on patients, their families, and the health system, and can have profound and lasting consequences.”
As previously reported, the late preacher Lee Roy Shelton wrote in “The Crimes of Our Times”, “Life is cheap today to the average individual, but not to God. … God is concerned about that baby in the mother’s womb; He gave it. It came into being, I know, by normal process of a male’s and female’s being joined together as one, but it was God who gave the life in conception, and God alone has the right to say when it should be taken away.”
“God’s Word says in Psalm 127:35, ‘Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is His reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.’ Children are a heritage of the Lord; God alone gives little children; therefore, woe be unto that woman or man who destroys them, whether in the womb or out of the womb,” Shelton said.