Abortion providers in Texas are suing Gov. Greg Abbott (R) after he moved to ban abortion during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, the governor’s office ordered all health care providers in the Lone Star state to pause all surgeries that aren’t immediately necessary in order to preserve medical supplies. Abortions are including in that list of elective procedures.
The announcement came Monday from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who said abortions should not be performed in the state unless the life of the mother is in jeopardy. Paxton said the order is currently slated to expire April 21.
“No one is exempt from the governor’s executive order on medically unnecessary surgeries and procedures, including abortion providers,” read a statement from Paxton’s office. “Those who violate the governor’s order will be met with the full force of the law.”
Providers who violate the edict can be fined for $1,000 or face up to 180 days behind bars.
Abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood, however, see the decision as politically motivated, rather than as a good faith effort to combat the pandemic.
“Groups were forced to go to court today after Gov. Abbott used the COVID-19 crisis to block access to essential, time-sensitive abortion procedures,” stated Planned Parenthood. “Instead of addressing this crisis, Abbott and Attorney General Paxton are spending valuable time and resources scoring political points by trying to further restrict abortion access which has already been pushed out of reach for many Texans.”
It is worth noting, of course, that abortion is — by definition — an elective procedure. And the doctors and nurses performing abortions would be using PPE, masks, and gloves. Since the goal is to preserve those things for COVID-19 patients, why would abortion be exempt from the governor’s mandate?