Representatives for more than 30,000 pro-life U.S. physicians denounced a statement from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and others last week claiming that abortion is an essential and urgent healthcare service that should not be restricted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Continuing to perform elective abortions during a pandemic is medically irresponsible,” the pro-life medical groups said. “Elective abortion is neither “essential” nor “urgent,” but it does consume critical resources such as masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment, and unnecessarily exposes patients and physicians to pathogens.”
“Elective abortion, both surgical and drug induced, also generates more patients to be seen in already overburdened emergency rooms,” they continued.
The groups noted that most abortion providers tell women to go to the ER if they experience complications after an abortion, and that some 5% of women who have chemical abortions will need to be seen in the emergency room, usually due to hemorrhage, and that this will add to a healthcare system already threatened by the pandemic.
“Surgical abortions can also result in hemorrhage,” the pro-life doctors warned. “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.”
The statement released Monday from the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), the American College of Pediatricians, Christian Medical & Dental Associations, the Catholic Medical Association, and the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons was in response to ACOG’s March 18 joint statement lobbying for abortion access during the COVID-19 outbreak.
AAPLOG and associated pro-life doctors’ groups made mention in their statement of the Hippocratic Oath, the oath of medical ethics upon which doctors swear and which says in part that they will do patients no harm.
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ACOG et al said abortion should not be categorized as elective or non-urgent during the coronavirus pandemic and that “community-based and hospital-based clinicians should consider collaboration to ensure abortion access is not compromised during this time.”
“Abortion is an essential component of comprehensive health care,” the pro-abortion groups said. “It is also a time-sensitive service for which a delay of several weeks, or in some cases days, may increase the risks or potentially make it completely inaccessible. The consequences of being unable to obtain an abortion profoundly impact a person’s life, health, and well-being.”
ACOG had collaborated with the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, the American Gynecological & Obstetrical Society, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the Society for Academic Specialists in General Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Society of Family Planning, and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine on the statement pushing for abortion access amid the coronavirus outbreak.
As communities worldwide shut down to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus and many municipalities have restricted open businesses to “essential service,” intense debate over whether abortion can be categorized as such has ensued.
Abortion facilities in some U.S. locales have defied direct orders from authorities to temporarily suspend elective procedures that entail use of personal protective equipment (PPE) so drastically needed by medical personnel fighting the pandemic and frequently in short supply.
“In such an uncertain and tumultuous time, the entire healthcare profession is being called upon to conserve resources and healthcare professionals to an extent never seen before,” the pro-life medical groups said. “And yet, in the midst of this call, while hospitals are postponing elective procedures and many outpatient clinics are rescheduling non-essential office visits, the abortion industry continues with business as usual.”
“In their recent joint statement, ACOG with several other traditionally pro-abortion medical organizations, made the preposterous claim that “abortion is an essential component of comprehensive health care” for women,” they said, “even though elective abortion treats no disease process.”
The pro-life medical doctors went on to note how more than 85% of practicing obstetricians and gynecologists do not perform elective abortions.
“If elective abortion were an “essential component” of women’s health care, it would be a part of every obstetric and gynecologic practice,” they point out.
“Currently, across the United States, services that do constitute essential health care for women, including routine Pap smears, mammograms, and pelvic exams, are being postponed in order to reduce everyone’s risk of exposure to COVID-19, and to conserve scarce medical resources,” the AAPLOG-led coalition of pro-life physicians said.
They concluded with a “call for all elective abortions to be suspended in accordance with the current CDC recommendations pertaining to elective procedures and office visits.”
Heartbeat International has provided resources to affiliate pregnancy help organizations (PHOs) to ensure they can continue to meet the needs of women in unplanned pregnancy. Heartbeat has assisted PHOs with streamlining services and serving clients remotely more frequently with technology, and also provides coronavirus-related resources on the Heartbeat International website. All of the materials and resources adhere to Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization guidelines.