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EAST PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island, April 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – As the abortion industry fights to exempt itself from the sacrifices being made across the medical profession to combat COVID-19, a Planned Parenthood board member in Rhode Island suggests that abortion is not only equal to but more imporant than the countless legitimate medical procedures that have been put on hold.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams and the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have 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 infected patients.

Compliance with this guidance has been mixed, leading numerous states to mandate that facilities temporarily halt “non-essential” medical procedures. Among them, Texas has declared that elective abortions will be held to the same standards as all other procedures during this time, leading to a lawsuit demanding exemptions for Planned Parenthood and other abortion centers. One of those suits may soon reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

Speaking to Rhode Island media outlet WPRI, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) board member Nancie Schwarzman complained this week that the crisis “is being used as a tool to shut down clinics, deeming many of our services, including access to abortions as non-essential care.” She then asked: “Can you imagine anything more essential and time-sensitive?”

PPSNE operates 17 abortion facilities across Connecticut and Rhode Island, which are remaining open for the time being.

Pro-life medical experts such as the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) dispute claims that abortions are essential, noting that beyond the fact that the vast majority of abortions are not sought for medical reasons, abortion also “generates more patients to be seen in already overburdened emergency rooms.”

“Most abortion providers instruct women to go to an emergency room if they have any concerning symptoms after the abortion,” AAPLOG notes. “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.”

Meanwhile, legitimate medical institutions across the nation, which have complied with the various government orders and recommendations to focus on COVID-19, have been forced to lay off tens of thousands of healthcare workers, and dramatically cut the hours of remaining employees, due to canceling so many appointments and procedures unrelated to COVID-19.

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