Texas abortion businesses are desperate to keep killing babies in abortions during the coronavirus crisis and they filed a lawsuit this afternoon against pro-life Governor Greg Abbott seeking to contravene his order to stop all non-essential medical procedures to conserve medical resources to combat the crisis.
As LifeNews reported, at least some Texas abortion businesses have closed temporarily or stopped doing abortions in response to an order from pro-life Governor Greg Abbott to halt all non-essential medical procedures to preserve medical resources to fight the coronavirus crisis. Other abortion centers are waiting to see what the legal options are in response and may be continuing to kill babies in abortions.
Abbott issued a new executive order prohibiting all non-essential medical procedures until the middle of April. The order says 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.”
Then, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton essentially closed down abortion businesses in the state and warned them that they are subject to a new executive order pro-life Governor Greg Abbott issued Sunday to end all non-essential surgical procedures. Since no abortions are essential, abortion centers essentially should close down.
“The truth is abortion, for the most part, is an elective procedure,” Paxton said.
Now Texas abortion businesses are retaliating with a lawsuit:
“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,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement.
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“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.”
Amy Hagstrom-Miller, president and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health, which runs three abortion clinics in Texas, said it had to cancel 150 appointments this week after Paxton’s announcement.
“Attorney General Paxton’s conclusion that abortion care is not an essential medical service that is needed by our community during this pandemic has already created a health crisis on top of a health crisis,” she said.
Nancy Northup, president and CEO of Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing abortion providers in the suit, said they are seeking a temporary restraining order against the ban, and eventually a permanent injunction.
“Texas is abusing the state’s emergency powers,” she said.
The order applies to abortions and failure to comply with the executive order could mean fines of up to $1,000 or 180 days in jail.
Texas abortion centers have been shut down and will be until and unless an injunction is issued:
According to the Dallas Morning News, some abortion companies have stopped killing babies, at least temporarily:
Across Texas’ major cities, clinics were informing patients that abortion services were temporarily unavailable on Tuesday.
But, in Texas, many abortion providers had heeded Paxton’s warning by Tuesday afternoon. Still, there were a few signs of pushback: One Austin clinic was telling its patients it was planning to sue, and an abortion access fund said it would still help people obtain abortions.
Florian Trcalek, the medical receptionist at Austin Women’s Health Center, said the clinic was not performing abortions but was still booking future appointments in hopes of offering abortions while it fought the ruling in a court.
“We believe abortion is an essential service,” she said. “We’re hoping we can get a case open so that we can reopen in the time that they’re making a decision.”
Trcalek said she didn’t know when the clinic’s lawsuit would be filed but said the clinic hoped to offer abortions again by the end of next week.
Amy Hagstrom-Miller, the CEO of Whole Woman’s Health, said in a statement that “patients cannot wait until this pandemic is over to receive safe abortion care.” But a spokeswoman for Whole Woman’s Health, which operates clinics in Fort Worth, Austin and McAllen, said the private health care management company was adhering to Paxton’s order.
Texas Planned Parenthood clinics did not respond to requests for comment. Receptionists for other abortion clinics in San Antonio, Austin and Houston said they weren’t offering abortion services.
In Dallas, an automated voice machine for the Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center said: “Our office is now closed down by the attorney general until further notice due to the coronavirus.”
Leading pro-life groups told LifeNews.com they’re glad Texas is moving forward with the abortion ban so it can focus on protecting Texans from the coronavirus.
“The vast majority of abortions are elective procedures and despite calls on the national, state, and local level for all elective procedures to be postponed, abortion clinics are conducting business as usual,” stated Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “As hospitals struggle to provide care, find supplies to protect doctors, nurses, patients, and other hospital personnel, abortion clinics are endangering staff and patients in those same communities.”
Tobias said hospitals and other primary care facilities are rightly focused on this medical emergency and Texas is right to have called for all elective surgeries to be rescheduled in order to ensure care for those in immediate need and to free up vital resources to treat those impacted by COVID-19.
Although the situation is fluid, here are the latest reports from LifeNews.com on the status of abortion and orders to stop non-essential medical services:
Texas: Abortion centers are temporarily closed after Governor Greg Abbott’s order. But Texas abortion businesses have sued the state to reopen.
Maryland: Abortion centers are included in the abortion order to close but whether they have officially closed is unknown.
Louisiana: Abortion centers are included in the order to close and all three have closed.
New Jersey: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.
Washington: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.
California: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.
Pennsylvania: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.
Maine: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.
Massachusetts: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.