FORT WAYNE, Indiana, April 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Over seventy Indiana health professionals, doctors, and nurses sent a letter to Gov. Eric Holcomb earlier this month asking him to halt surgical and chemical abortions during the COVID-19 crisis.
On March 30th, Holcomb issued an executive order for the State of Indiana calling on health providers, including abortion clinics, to “cancel or postpone elective and non-urgent surgical and invasive procedures” in order to conserve personal protective equipment for those fighting COVID -19.
Holcomb’s order, however, directed the physician who is treating the patient to make the determination on the urgency of the procedure.
In the case of abortion, however, the abortion doctor is the person determining whether or not the procedure is essential.
“It is our medical opinion that there is no such thing as an ‘urgent abortion,’” the healthcare professionals state in the letter.
The letter from 76 health professionals to Holcomb (full text below) comes after abortion facilities in Indiana quickly made it known that they would not be closing their doors and would continue to perform abortions, putting patients at risk for contracting this virus while hoarding much needed medical resources. Planned Parenthood has even used social media to ask people to donate items like protective masks to their clinics.
Planned Parenthood said in a plea on social media, “please consider donating hand sanitizer, home sewn masks, shoe covers, and surgical hats to protect our medical staff as they continue to provide care in our communities.”
The health care professionals who penned the letter maintain that the decision could not be left responsibly up to an abortion doctor who stands to gain financially from the procedure. Further, abortionists have an extremely limited relationship with the patient seeking an abortion, often leaving other health care professionals to stand in the gap during follow-up and care needed due to complications.
Abortion is creating more work for the already stretched thin medical community all focused on fighting to save lives from COVID-19.
The letter and list of signatories:
Dear Governor Holcomb:
Thank you for your leadership as the severity of our state’s health emergency due to the Coronavirus grows larger by the hour. We are hopeful the emergency orders you have enacted will help Indiana’s healthcare systems to rise to the challenges presented by medical supply shortages, expanding needs for COVID-19 testing and efforts to prevent further spreading of the virus across our state. The success of these directives depends largely on the cooperation of Hoosiers to adhere to them and we are committed to use our influence to encourage compliance.
We are grateful you included abortion businesses in your list of the health care providers you directed to cancel or postpone elective and non-urgent surgical or invasive procedures. Unfortunately, the determination of an elective and non- urgent procedure is made by the patient’s treating physician or health care provider. In the case of abortions, the treating physician or health care provider is the abortionist, who not only stands to profit financially from continuing these non- essential procedures, but also, in nearly every case, does not have a prior relationship with that patient and will not have an ongoing relationship with her.
Predictably, after the Executive Order you signed on Monday, March 30, the abortion industry came out in force letting everyone know that every abortion in Indiana is urgent and non-elective. Chris Charbonneau, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky said, “Medical experts recognize that abortion is an essential, time-sensitive medical procedure.” Attached to this letter are several examples of their communications. We are certain your intent was not to open the doors of abortion businesses across Indiana to continue business as usual. As health care professionals licensed to practice in Indiana, we join over 30,000 physicians across the country who practice according to the Hippocratic Oath – the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (APPLOG), the Christian Medical & Dental Associations, the Catholic Medical Association, the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons and the American College of Pediatricians – in asking you to require the abortion industry in Indiana to comply with your very wise directive to suspend abortions.
It is our medical opinion that there is no such thing as an “urgent abortion” because any treatment for a pregnancy complication would include best efforts to save the unborn child as detailed in IC 16-34-2-0.5(attached). Nonetheless, the definition of emergency abortions is already in Indiana Code and should be used as the standard during this time of overwhelming uncertainty. The code cites are IC 16-34-2-1.2, IC16-34-2-1 and IC 16-34-2-0.5 and the text is attached. As with any other elective procedure that can become an emergency, procedures that are truly urgent should be done in a hospital equipped to deal with all aspects of a complication and support best efforts to save the unborn child. Additionally, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released “Adult Elective Surgery and Procedures Recommendations” to “limit non-essential adult elective surgery and medical and surgical procedures…[to] assist in the management of vital healthcare resources during this public health emergency.” The recommendations include a tiered framework to “inform health systems as they consider resources and how to best provide surgical services and procedures to those whose condition requires emergent or urgent attention to save a life, preserve organ function, and avoid further harms from underlying condition or disease” (emphasis added). Also, the new national guidelines for surgical care from the American College of Surgeons state that, in the current coronavirus pandemic setting, surgery should be “restricted to those patients likely to have survivorship compromised if surgery is not performed.” Using this as guidance, since the vast majority of surgical abortions are outpatient surgical procedures, they would be considered elective procedures that are certainly not necessary to “save a life, preserve organ function, and avoid further harm.”
Medication abortions should also be halted during this time. One of the largest studies we have available on medication vs. surgical abortions shows that medication abortions have a four-fold increased complication rate. Twenty percent of women will experience adverse events, including a 15% hemorrhage rate, which is significant considering the blood shortage this country is currently facing. In addition, approximately 6% of women will require surgical completions of their abortions, which will further use up precious PPE. Because abortion providers do not manage their own complications, women that are experiencing these will be instructed to present to our already overburdened ER’s, not only placing further stress on the healthcare system, but also unnecessarily increasing their risk for exposure to COVID-19.
In addition to the points addressed above, we ask you to note the appeal from Planned Parenthood for donations of PPE (attached). This is beyond outrageous when front line medical providers are having to reuse equipment and make do with what they have. Regardless of the position of Hoosiers on the abortion issue, people across the state are outraged at this blatant grab for supplies as abortion providers exploit this crisis for their own benefit.
Thank you for considering our concerns. We continue to pray for wisdom, health and courage as you lead Hoosiers through the troubled days ahead.
Christina Francis, MD OB-GYN Fort Wayne Chairman of the Board American Association of Pro-Life OB-GYNs
Robin Atkins, LMHC Fort Wayne
Rep. Brad Barrett, MD General Surgeon Richmond
Shea Borton, BSN, RN FNP-S Indianapolis
Andrew Mullally, MD NFPMC Fort Wayne Catholic Medical Guild State Director and National Board Member
Rep. Ron Bacon Respiratory Therapist Chandler
Rick Becker, MA, MS, RN Mishawaka
James Berndt, MD Breman
Jonathan Alley, DO Family Medicine Angola
Dr. Brian Barber Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine ABFM, Family Medicine Indianapolis
William J. Blanke, MD Family Practice Evansville
Lorri Bowser, RN Fort Wayne, IN
Teresa Bower, RN Fort Wayne
Don Cherry RN Indianapolis
Jean Crane, LMHC Avon
Amy Collins, MD Emergency Medicine Carmel
Lourdes Eco, MD Internal Medicine Indianapolis
Eustace Fernandes, MD Pulmonology Fort Wayne
Jody Freyre, MD OB-GYN Fort Wayne
David Hart, MD Thoracic and Cardiothoracic surgeon Columbus
Cassandralee Herber,RN, FNP-C Fort Wayne
Brent Jacobus, DO Family Medicine Crownpoint
Daniel Kratch, MD Ophthalmology Fort Wayne
James Lindemulder, DO OB/GYN Goshen
Julie Bryan, MD Internal Medicine Fort Wayne
Brenda Cantwell, RN Indianapolis
Donna Cherry RN Indianapolis
Michelle Davenport, RN Auburn
Lisa Davis, RN Angola
David Donaldson, MD Anesthesia Fort Wayne
Francis Esguerra, MD OB-GYN Fort Wayne
Rita Fiorentino, RN Plainfield
Deb Goeglein, RN Fort Wayne
Andrea Hoover, MD OB-GYN Kokomo
George Kane, MD Family Medicine Resident Indianapolis
Emily Krach, MD Family Medicine Fort Wayne
Stephen Lugo, MD OB-GYN Fort Wayne
Kevin Cantwell, MD Anesthesiologist Indianapolis
Geoff Cly, MD OB-GYN Rochester
Aaron Dewees, MD Neonatology Evansville
Tonya M Duguid, DO Family Medicine Warsaw
Kerry Ettensohn, MD Anesthesia Indianapolis
Edward Fitzgerald, MD Thoracic Surgeon Carmel
Diane Griffin, RN South Bend
Jeff Henney, MD Family Medicine Indianapolis (currently serving in SE Asia)
Joseph Kosnik, MD Assistant Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine Fort Wayne
Sandra Krizmanich, MD OB-GYN Fort Wayne
Angela Martin, MD OB-GYN Fort Wayne
Mary McCarran, RDMS Fort Wayne
Anna Miller, RN Fort Wayne
Natasha Morris, MD Hospital Medicine Carmel
Bryan Perkins, MD OB-GYN Indianapolis
Michelle Schoenfeld LPN Fort Wayne
Christopher Stroud, MD OB-GYN Fort Wayne
Kathryn Sutton, LCSW Evansville
Sylvia Swain Nurse Practitioner Goshen
John Wagner, MD OB-GYN Indianapolis
Kevin Kaufhold, MD Family Medicine Granger Tammi McCoy, PA Fort Wayne
Leslie Moore, MD Anesthesia Indianapolis
Brittney Owen Nurse Practitioner Crownpoint
Linda Ray, RN Danville
Kim Shaffer, RN Elkhart
Christy Campbell-Smalley DO OB-GYN Indianapolis
Dawn Sturdivant, RN Home Health Hospice Wolcottville
Steven Tanner, MD OB-GYN Fort Wayne
Elizabeth Wehlage, MD OB-GYN Indianapolis
Thomas McGovern, MD Dermatologist Fort Wayne
David Moran, MD Family Physician Fort Wane
Megan Parrish, MD Family Medicine Granger
Lynne Scherschel, LMFT Marriage and Family Therapist Crown Point/Schererville
Adam Spaetti, MD Internal Medicine Bloomington
Marianne Stroud Certified Nurse Midwife Fort Wayne
Cathy Wagner, MD Pediatrics Indianapolis
Rep. Dennis Zent DDS MsD Endodontist Angola
Holly Smith MD Family Medicine Zionsville President – St. Raphael Catholic Medical Guild of Indianapolis