Ohio abortion clinics have been ordered to halt “non-essential and elective surgical abortions” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Republican Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost sent letters to the Women’s Med Center in Dayton and Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio’s Cincinnati Surgery Center on Friday, ordering them to halt the procedure. The order applies to all abortion clinics in the state.
“You and your facility are ordered to immediately stop performing non-essential and elective surgical abortions. Non-essential surgical abortions are those that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of a patient,” Yost wrote, according to a report from CBS.
“If you or your facility do not immediately stop performing non-essential or elective surgical abortions in compliance with the [health director’s] order, the Department of Health will take all appropriate measures,” the letters continued.
It was not immediately clear if the order would apply to abortions using medication.
“It was not immediately clear whether or not clinics could continue providing medication abortion. If a clinic uses personal protective equipment to administer the procedure, the order would apply, McCorkle said. According to the United States Department of Labor, personal protective equipment can include, ‘gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits,'” CBS reports.
A letter immediately fired off by Planned Parenthood’s lawyers sounded like the abortion organization will not be complying.
The response from a lawyer for Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region said that their clinic is “still continue providing essential procedures, including surgical abortion, and our health centers continue to offer other health care services that our patients depend on. Our doors remain open for this care.”
It seems as though this deadly outbreak might actually save some little lives.