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Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D).YouTube screenshot

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TOPEKA, Kansas, April 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― The governor of Kansas is determined that abortion businesses will remain open during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“I think the women’s reproductive [sic] centers are considered a healthcare facility and therefore essential,” Democrat Laura Kelly said on Wednesday at a press conference in Topeka.

The governor was responding to a question from a reporter regarding an attempt in the Wichita area to stop abortions. According to the Associated Press, Sedgwick County commissioners voted that day to recommend that abortion facilities be restricted to performing “only essential medical procedures” during the national health crisis.

The recommendation will be sent to Sedgwick County health officer Dr. Garold Minns, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and Governor Kelly herself.   

According to the Wichita Eagle, the vote was 4-1 and followed a “tense debate” among commissioners Michael O’Donnell, who proposed the recommendation; Jim Howell, who supported it; and Lacey Cruse, who opposed it on the grounds that a rape victim seeking an abortion might have to give birth to her “rapist’s baby” and that women whose lives are endangered by pregnancy could die.

According to Human Life International, only 0.36% of abortions are performed in the United States to save the life or health of the mother (5,200 per year), and only 0.09%  are done in cases of rape or incest (1,300 abortions per year).

Commissioner O’Donnell argued that the Wichita abortuary is being frequented by staff and clients from areas where the virus is more prevalent.

“We are putting people that are vulnerable, putting them in a much more vulnerable situation by not knowing if these people who are practicing at the clinic have the virus, have come in contact with other people with the virus,” he said.

“This isn’t political, this is concern about human life, protecting life whether it’s the unborn or individuals that may or may not come in contact with COVID-19,” he added.

Kansas Senate president Susan Wagle has also questioned the squandering of medical resources on abortion businesses at such a time.

“While high-risk screenings and all elective procedures throughout the state are being canceled and doctor’s offices are struggling to survive, why should an elective abortion be an exception?” she asked. 

“Personal protective equipment is in short supply during this pandemic. Making an exception for an elective abortion is inexcusable.”

The Trust Women Wichita abortion clinic is in Sedgwick County. The county has been under a stay-at-home order since March 23. Public liturgies in Catholic churches have been suspended in the Diocese of Wichita in common with other dioceses in Kansas. School has been dismissed for the year. Cinemas have been shut and sporting events canceled. Dozens of restaurants and other businesses have closed, and unemployment across Kansas is skyrocketing.  

On Friday, Brandan Whipple, the mayor of Wichita, announced that there are 64 cases of COVID-19 in Sedgwick County and one death from the virus so far. There are 482 cases in the state of Kansas.