The putative reason why we’re being locked down due to coronavirus — to use the prison language which we’ve adopted — is because the health care system would be swamped if we let the pandemic spread and swamp our emergency rooms with COVID-19 cases.
This is because, of course, those cases would be on top of what hospitals see on a daily basis. Part of this thus means that elective procedures have to be postponed until a later date.
Abortions are, by their nature, almost always elective. Unbelievably, some states have chosen to treat them as if they’re not — a choice that puts politics over people and proves that not everyone is taking coronavirus as seriously as they say they are.
Other states — like Texas — have decided to declare the procedure nonessential for the moment. So, of course, they’re getting sued by Planned Parenthood.
According to National Review, the nation’s largest abortion provider is being joined in the lawsuit by the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Lawyering Project.
The last of those sounds as if it were a millennialism like “adulting” except for the legal profession, but it’s actually a group that’s “especially focused on laws that limit the availability or affordability of abortion care; contribute to disparities in reproductive health outcomes; embody gender-based stereotypes; or discriminate against people based on their reproductive decisions.”
Apparently, restricting access to elective procedures during what’s likely to be the most dangerous pandemic any of us see in our lives qualifies as just that.
“While doctors and nurses in Texas work around the clock to care for patients suffering from COVID-19, Governor Abbott is interfering with the personal medical decisions of Texans by using this pandemic to advance his political, anti-abortion agenda,” the lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, read.
“The Texas Attorney General’s enforcement threats are a blatant effort to exploit a public health crisis to advance an extreme, anti-abortion agenda, without any benefit to the state in terms of preventing or resolving shortages of [personal protective equipment] or hospital capacity.”
According to The Washington Times, the suit noted that the ban extended to “medication abortions” and that “this appears to be the only oral medication targeted in this manner.”
A letter from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton “warned all licensed health care professionals and all licensed health care facilities, including abortion providers that, pursuant to Executive Order GA 09 issued by Gov. Greg Abbott, they must postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary.”
“Gov. Abbott and anti-abortion activists nationwide are forcing a legal and political fight in the middle of a public health crisis,” Planned Parenthood Federation of America acting president and CEO Alexis McGill-Johnson said, according to Fox News.
“Elected leaders are expending valuable time and resources exploiting a global pandemic to score political points instead of rallying to respond to this crisis.”
How much resources abortion uses is an open question, but the fact remains that in a period of radical social distancing and amid the cancellation of other nonessential medical procedures, we’re actually discussing the essentiality of abortion.
Ken Paxton wonders about that, too.
“It is unconscionable that abortion providers are fighting against the health of Texans and withholding desperately needed supplies and personal protective equipment in favor of a procedure that they refer to as a ‘choice,'” he tweeted Wednesday.
It is unconscionable that abortion providers are fighting against the health of Texans and withholding desperately needed supplies and
personal protective equipment in favor of a procedure that they refer to as a ‘choice.’
— Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) March 26, 2020
And that’s true.
Remember how this was framed? Abortion advocates are “pro-choice,” whereas all of us retrograde individuals who question the ethicality of the procedure and the legality of Roe v. Wade are “anti-choice.” Either way, there’s a choice involved.
But that’s not how Planned Parenthood is framing it now:
.@GovAbbott doesn’t think abortion is essential or, apparently, time-sensitive.
— Planned Parenthood (@PPFA) March 25, 2020
And keep in mind, even with “medication abortions,” there is the risk of straining the health care system, as well.
“While surgery centers postpone elective and diagnostic procedures, abortion centers are churning out surgical and chemical abortions and putting women, especially the poor, at risk,” a letter from national pro life groups led by the Susan B. Anthony List to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Tuesday read.
“Their continued operation depletes sorely needed personal protective equipment and leads to complications that will further overwhelm already overextended emergency rooms. The abortion industry is compounding one crisis with another. Therefore, we urge public officials to use their broad emergency authority to safeguard against the extreme abortion agenda.”
Here are a few of their affiliates’ admonitions to patients experiencing symptoms of COVID-19:
Planned Parenthood of Michigan: “Symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus) include: fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath. For the safety of our patients, staff, and community, ANYONE WITH THESE SYMPTOMS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE HEALTH CENTER.”
Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York: “If you are experiencing a fever, a cough or shortness of breath, please do not come to one of our health centers for your appointment or walk-in. Call your health care provider.”
Planned Parenthood of New York City: “If you are experiencing a fever OR cough OR shortness of breath OR sore throat, please do not come to one of our health centers for your appointment. … We do not offer Coronavirus testing in any of our health centers at this time.”
Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest: “We are accepting new appointments for essential services only, including birth control and abortion.”
Ah, of course — only those essential services.
As with so many things, I tend to think we ought to check our pre-existing beliefs on how the world ought to normally work against how we think it should work during the coronavirus epidemic and see if perhaps we’re trying to force a permanent partisan template on a temporary emergency that ought to be nonpartisan.
That being said, abortion providers have made my arguments for me.
Obtaining an abortion right now a choice, and a choice which could end up infecting an untold number of people with coronavirus.
We don’t need our doctors catching it and then passing it on to patients.
Our emergency rooms, choked as they’re supposed to become, don’t need women visiting them with complications from medicinally induced abortions — or with COVID-19 from the gynecologists who performed them at the clinic.
A matter of choice is, by its very nature, nonessential health care. Good luck arguing otherwise in court!
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