As the coronavirus pandemic continues at rapid speed, what’s considered “essential” has taken on a completely different meaning—and now some states are declaring that a woman’s right to have an abortion is not essential during this time of crisis. A trio of states have officially taken measures to ban all abortions while the coronavirus outbreak continues.
@USAToday reports, Ohio, Texas and Mississippi have ruled that abortion should be considered non-essential procedures and must be delayed during the coronavirus crisis. As for the specifics, in Texas medical providers can be fined or face jail time for violating the abortion ban—and Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves promised to take legal action against the state’s abortion clinic, the Pink House, if it continues to provide abortion services during the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Mississippi Department of Health recently ordered that all elective medical procedures and non-essential doctor visits be postponed as health care providers deal with a flood of coronavirus cases. However, several women’s rights groups have criticized the legislation, arguing that an abortion is not an essential service.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton proclaimed earlier this week that all clinics in the state must stop providing all abortion services unless a woman’s life or health are in extreme danger. Paxton also stated that all abortion providers were included under Governor Greg Abbott’s emergency order, which banned medically unnecessary surgeries and other procedures to conserve medical supplies until April 21st.
Amy Hagstrom Miller, President and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health, an abortion provider with offices in Texas, is fighting back against the new orders, as she says that abortion is a time-sensitive procedure and patients won’t be able to wait for the coronavirus pandemic to run its course.
Ohio Attorney General David Yost sent letters to three clinics and a Cincinnati urologist’s office that said the state had received complaints about the clinics. He also reiterated the state’s order and warned that it would take “appropriate measures” if any clinics failed to comply.
Roommates, what are your thoughts on this?