Texas and Ohio Ban Abortions During Coronavirus: ‘Those Who Violate’ Face ‘Full Force of The Law’
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton have both declared abortions as unnecessary surgeries and have, therefore, banned them during the coronavirus outbreak.
“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,” Yost said in a letter sent to abortion clinics throughout Ohio on Friday.
“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.”
According to CBS, Iris E. Harvey and Kersha Deibel, the respective heads of two Ohio Planned Parenthoods, have issued a statement in response that says “Abortion is an essential, time-sensitive medical procedure,” and will, therefore, continue all services.
Attorney General Paxton made a similar warning in an executive order issued on Monday:
“All licensed health care professionals and all licensed health care facilities shall 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, as determined by the patient’s physician.”
“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,” the state read.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan also suspended all nonessential businesses and procedures on Monday but did not clarify if that included a temporary abortion ban.
The Washington Post’s Erin Cox reported on Twitter that “Hogan appeared to say yes” when asked if the shutdown included abortions:
Abortion wrinkle I’d not thought about: Hogan’s executive order shuts down all elective procedures. A reporter (@APBrianWitte) asked if that included abortion. Hogan appeared to say yes.
“They’ve got to free up beds for the things that are needed to save people’s lives. https://t.co/7MTbvlKB4w
— Erin Cox (@ErinatThePost) March 23, 2020
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