Anti-Choice Politicians Are Using the Coronavirus Crisis to Deny Abortion Rights
And they’re succeeding in ways they never could, absent the global public-health nightmare
By David S. Cohen & Carole Joffe
Mar 25, 2020
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, while the rest of the nation is focusing on staying healthy and social distancing, anti-abortion politicians and movement leaders have been doing the only thing they know — pursuing an agenda to shut down abortion clinics. Capitalizing on the mantra to never let a crisis go to waste, they are succeeding in ways they never could, absent the global public-health nightmare.
The chief vehicle they have been using is shutting down what they deem nonessential health care. By now, most people are familiar with orders from mayors or governors that only essential businesses can remain open. Most places that have put these orders in place have also specified that medical facilities can no longer perform elective or nonessential procedures.
Ohio’s attorney general told providers to stop abortions during the coronavirus pandemic
Ohio says abortions are “nonessential” surgeries. Advocates say all abortions are essential.
By Riley Beggin
Mar 22, 2020
Ohio’s attorney general has ordered health care providers in the state to stop all “nonessential and elective surgical abortions,” citing federal guidance intended to help conserve needed medical supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.
There are concerns that, due to the coronavirus, the demand for hospital beds could exceed supply in the US — and medical providers are currently experiencing a severe shortage of the personal protective equipment (PPE) that allows them to safely interact with infected patients. In order to preserve what supply exists, Trump administration officials have asked “every American and every American hospital and healthcare facility to postpone any elective medical procedures.”
In Ohio, A Debate About Whether Abortion Counts As An 'Essential Service'
March 21, 2020
Abortion rights groups are accusing the attorney general of Ohio of using the coronavirus crisis to restrict abortion access after clinics in the state were sent letters this week faulting them for not complying with an order aimed at preserving a limited supply of surgical equipment and protective gear.
In a letter dated on Tuesday, Ohio's Department of Health ordered all non-essential surgical and elective procedures postponed so that protective equipment like masks and gowns can be reserved for doctors caring for coronavirus patients. Ohio has seen 174 coronavirus cases and three deaths.