State officials in Texas and Mississippi have also halted abortion during the global novel coronavirus outbreak, with both states outlining that orders to cease elective surgeries at this time include those who end the lives of unborn children.
On Saturday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order instructing medical facilities to “postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition of, or to preserve the life of, a patient who without immediate performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death …”
Attorney General Ken Paxton specifically noted in a statement on Monday that the order includes abortion facilities, but excepting “life or health of the mother” cases. He noted that those who violate the order can face penalties of up to $1,000 or 180 days jail time.
“We must work together as Texans to stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that our health care professionals and facilities have all the resources they need to fight the virus at this time,” he said. “No one is exempt from the governor’s executive order on medically unnecessary surgeries and procedures, including abortion providers. Those who violate the governor’s order will be met with the full force of the law.”
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves also outlined during a press conference on Tuesday that a Department of Health order postponing “elective medical procedures and non-essential medical visits” likewise includes abortion. There is one abortion facility remaining in the state, Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
“We’re doing everything in our power, and have for many years, to make Mississippi the safest place in America for unborn children,” he said, according to the Clarion Ledger, advising that action would be taken if the facility was found to be in violation.
“We’ll take whatever action we need to to protect the not only the lives of unborn children, but also the lives of anyone who may contract this particular virus,” Reeves stated.
The outlet reports that Jackson Women’s Health Organization was indeed still operating. Kelly Krause, spokesperson for the Center for Reproductive Rights, argued that abortion is “essential” and time-sensitive” and therefore must be excluded from the postponements.
“[Abortions] must remain available during this pandemic — particularly because every pregnancy is unique and can pose significant health risks,” she claimed.
As previously reported, the attorney general of Ohio has similarly mandated two abortion clinics who have continued to operate to cease performing “non-essential” surgical abortions.
“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 [the DOH] order, the Department of Health will take all appropriate measures,” he warned.
Abortion groups in that state likewise asserted 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 the order as they don’t view surgical abortions as non-essential.
“Planned Parenthood’s top priority is ensuring that every person can continue accessing essential health care, including abortion,” it said.
“Abortion care is a time-sensitive medical situation that cannot be significantly delayed without profound consequences,” also claimed NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio 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.”
“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,” she stated. “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”, “[T]he Bible declares human life to be sacred. It is a divine creation, mysterious and magnificent in its beginning and possibility, utterly beyond the control or comprehension of any human being. It is never to be taken away at the will of anyone, for how can they tell the full meaning of that life and what it will bring forth?”
“The revelation of God made to man out of His blessed Word proves that He has purposes for every individual and for the race, stretching far beyond the present moment or manifestation; and to terminate a single life is to set yourselves up as wiser and superior to God. The immensity of the issues of death is so great that there can be no sin against humanity, and accordingly, against God, greater than that of taking a human life.”