The outbreak of potentially fatal COVID-19 in America threatens to ravage our nation’s elderly and sick, but it looks like the deadly pathogen isn’t just taking lives — it may actually be saving some of them.
The unexpected news comes as a result of medical shortages, social distancing and standard quarantine procedures that are doing substantial damage to the abortion industry.
The viral outbreak has the potential for “a huge impact,” according to abortion provider Joe Nelson, who believes he came down with COVID-19 but is unable to get himself tested.
His self-imposed quarantine will last two weeks, and keep the Texas physician from facilitating abortions for the duration of that time.
“There are not that many doctors who provide abortion care in Texas,” Nelson told HuffPost.
“A lot of the doctors that do come in from out of state. In a situation where doctors are less likely to want to travel, if there’s no one to cover me, patients will have to wait.”
Three clinics across the Lone Star State rely on Nelson for abortion service. It’s unclear how many of these locations’ abortion procedures will be affected.
Thanks to laws in many states, women seeking an abortion are required to physically visit a clinic. A nationwide shortage of masks, hand sanitizer and gloves means that every trip to an abortion facility carries an inherent risk of catching the novel coronavirus.
The shortage also means the SARS-CoV-2 virus can more easily spread in the indoor offices of clinics.
Six states are now operating with only a single abortion clinic, meaning even the slightest disruption — a sick doctor, or essential personnel being quarantined — could shut down access to the deadly procedure for millions.
Clinics are not just offices for providers, but are in fact essential to the abortion industry.
According to a recent study by the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion think tank, roughly 95 percent of abortions in 2017 were performed in-clinic.
Paired with a steady decline in physical locations, the implication is clear.
The abortion procedure, which has at least a 50 percent fatality rate even when performed correctly, will seemingly no longer be accessible for many as the decidedly less fatal COVID-19 makes its way across the United States.
According to HuffPost, many abortion clinics are now shifting work schedules and encouraging patients to do much of the paperwork online.
Even with these cautious changes, the disruption caused by the viral pneumonia threatens to keep many people stuck at home.
Tipped and waged workers may now be facing economic uncertainty.
With restaurants and bars closing across the nation, the lack of income could mean the difference between a full gas tank and a vehicle that simply can’t make it to a clinic.
Those who rely on public transportation face the issue of closures and enclosed, potentially packed spaces.
It’s unclear how long the nationwide outbreak will affect clinics, or how many abortions will be postponed or cancelled altogether.
For many of the unborn, it’s possible that they may soon owe their lives to the rapid onslaught of COVID-19.
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