March 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The United States’ largest abortion chain and its allies banded together for a lawsuit challenging emergency actions by Texas leaders to suspend non-essential medical procedures amid the coronavirus outbreak because abortions were not exempted.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams and the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advised healthcare facilities to reschedule non-urgent appointments and elective procedures, both to limit the spread of the coronavirus and to free up time and resources to focus on patients afflicted by COVID-19 (the illness caused by the coronavirus).
Compliance with this guidance has been mixed, leading numerous states to mandate that facilities temporarily halt “non-essential” procedures. Among them, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a statement making clear that the suspension applies to “any type of abortion that is not medically necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.”
Abortion providers and lobbying groups quickly denounced the move, and on Wednesday a pro-abortion coalition composed of the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the Lawyering Project filed a lawsuit against it in the Western District of Texas, BuzzFeed News reported.
The suit claims the suspension is an unconstitutional infringement on the “right” to abortion, enforcement of which should be immediately blocked. It also claims the wording of Paxton’s “any type of abortion” decree could be interpreted as prohibiting the use of abortion pills, despite the fact that the passage in question refers to “scheduled healthcare procedures,” not products.
The lawsuit goes so far as to suggest that killing children in abortion would actually be beneficial during a public health crisis because “prenatal care and delivery involve much greater exhaustion of hospital health care services and PPE than abortions.”
Paxton responded by calling the abortion lobby “unconscionable” for putting their business above the health needs of the state:
My office will tirelessly defend Governor Abbott’s Order to ensure that necessary supplies reach the medical professionals combating this national health crisis.
— Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) March 26, 2020
“Texas Right to Life is not surprised that the abortion industry is running to a federal court to fight against the governor’s executive order postponing all elective surgeries and procedures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Texas Right to Life said in a statement. “The abortion industry has never seen a safety regulation or common-sense health policy they did not believe they should be exempt from, fighting virtually every pro-life policy that threatened their bottom line. Shamefully, they have continued this pattern even during a global pandemic and public health crisis.”
Explaining the importance of holding abortion to the same standard as every other elective procedure, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) says that while “elective abortion is neither ‘essential’ nor ‘urgent,’” it “does consume critical resources such as masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment, and unnecessarily exposes patients and physicians to pathogens.”
“Elective abortion, both surgical and drug induced, also generates more patients to be seen in already overburdened emergency rooms,” AAPLOG continued. “Most abortion providers instruct women to go to an emergency room if they have any concerning symptoms after the abortion. Approximately five percent of women who undergo medication abortions will require evaluation in an emergency room, most commonly for hemorrhage. Surgical abortions can also result in hemorrhage. Emergency room personnel – who are already struggling to meet the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic – will be further strained to provide care to these women.”