COLUMBUS, Ohio (ChurchMilitant.com) - Officials are ordering abortion to halt in the midst of the Chinese virus crisis, yet the killing continues.
Last week the Ohio Department of Health ordered all "non-essential and elective surgeries" be temporarily suspended in order to preserve protective gear for health care workers in the midst of the Chinese virus crisis. The official directive, however, included no specific details of which services this entails, and abortion was not explicitly mentioned.
Two days later, however, the state's Attorney General's office put an end to any possible confusion on that matter. He sent letters to two of Ohio's six abortion facilities that provide surgical abortions, ordering them to "immediately stop performing non-essential and elective surgical abortions."
Despite the official memo, clinics that perform prenatal homicide in the state of Ohio are determined to continue abortion, defying the Attorney General's order. Although many in the state believe abortion is not health care since pregnancy is not a disease, a recent debate has emerged over whether the procedure of killing human beings prenatally is "essential" to women, and should be continued even during a government clampdown on medical services because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
At least five of the state's six surgical abortion mills say abortion is both essential and time-sensitive — and that there will be no interruption of their abortion "services."
In a statement, a lawyer for Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region responded to the Attorney General's letter, stating the facility was in compliance with the Health Department's order, despite its continuing of abortion.
Iris E. Harvey and Kersha Deibel, the respective heads of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, said in a statement that "Planned Parenthood's top priority is ensuring that every person can continue accessing essential health care, including abortion. We know your health care can't wait. Abortion is an essential, time-sensitive medical procedure."
Preterm of Cleveland, on its website, said that it also would continue performing abortions despite the attorney general's letter. However, the abortion mill added that it would be reducing the number of daily appointments, and "instituting even more stringent precautionary measures to keep our patients, staff and their families safe and healthy."
Preterm also wrote on its site that "In the midst of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, we know that our most vulnerable patients will have even more challenges getting the services they need, and community care will be key to preventing a reproductive health care crisis down the line."
According to local news reports, the Women's Med Center of Dayton also said it would continue to provide abortion, but as of Sunday afternoon, it was unclear whether or not Northeast Ohio Women's Center of Akron would continue its practice of child-killing as well.
The Attorney General's office is not ignoring the unlawful actions of these abortion facilities. The AG's office said it would pursue legal action against these facilities if the Health Department determines they are in violation of the order that restricts "non-essential" surgeries.
"This is not about abortions," Bethany McCorkle, a spokesperson for the attorney general said. "This is about nonessential surgeries using PPE during this pandemic." PPE is personal protective equipment.
More liberal states like Massachusetts and Washington have officially said that these "non-essential" orders do not apply to abortion, echoing guidance received from "reproductive health" organizations that classify abortion as an "essential component of comprehensive health care."
However, at this point it is unclear how more conservative states will handle the issue. On Sunday evening, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas temporarily suspended "non-essential" surgeries, not commenting specifically on whether or not the state's abortionists would be exempt.
Gregory Davidson, executive clerk to Gov. Greg Abbott, sent an official letter to Secretary of State Ruth Hughs, stating that: "Pursuant to his powers as governor of the state of Texas, Greg Abbott has issued the following — Executive Order No. GA-09 relating to hospital capacity during the COVID-19 disaster." The executive order includes this statement:
I, Greg Abbott, governor of Texas, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the state of Texas, do hereby order that, beginning now and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on April 21, 2020, all licensed health care professionals and all licensed health care facilities shall postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition of, or to preserve the life of, a patient who without immediate performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient's physician.
On its face, this order forbids all abortions. Medical procedures that attempt to save the life of the mother that result in the child dying — if killing the preborn child is not intended or directly attacked — is not technically abortion. According to Catholic moral tradition, such a medical procedure can be morally justified under the principle of double effect.