Officials issued an order mandating that all non-essential surgeries cease in the state while it battles the outbreak of the coronavirus and they indicated it also applies to abortion. After the order, Benjamin Clapper, Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life, told LifeNews.com that the Louisiana Department of Health issued new healthcare facility guidelines postponing all medical and surgical procedures unless the procedures are to treat an “emergency medical condition” as defined by the notice.
The pro-life group followed up on the order with phone calls to each of the three abortion centers and confirmed that all of them are complying with the order so far.
But today, the pro-life group Live Action released footage and transcripts exposing that Hope Medical Group, an abortion facility in Shreveport, Louisiana and the plaintiff in the current Supreme Court case June Medical Services v. Russo, is doing abortions in defiance of the statewide ban.
“Hope Medical Group’s ongoing operations are in violation of a Louisiana Department of Health order that non-essential and elective surgical procedures must cease during the COVID-19 crisis. The order was made to preserve Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is desperately needed by healthcare workers on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19. Additional goals of the order are to better utilize hospital staff, equipment, and bed capacity to save lives as the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to rise,” it told LifeNews.com.
In two recorded phone calls on March 26, 2020, Hope Medical Group employees told Live Action investigators that they are open and operating saying: “Currently we are the only facility that I know anywhere nearby that’s open and operating, and we’ll stay open and operating as long as possible.”
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Hope Medical Group made it clear over the phone that they are scheduling abortions:
0:20 CALLER: Hi, um, are you guys still scheduling abortions?
0:25 HOPE MEDICAL: We are! Unfortunately, our first session we don’t have an available appointment just because we are so busy until April 6th.
Hope Medical Group also confirmed that, in addition to seeing women from Louisiana, they are seeing women from Texas, which has issued a statewide halt to abortion:
1:04 HOPE MEDICAL: That’s correct ‘cause um…we are booked solid because we are serving all of Louisiana as well as Texas at this, at this point due to shut downs from government offices.
And Hope Medical Group has no plans to stop carrying out abortions at this time:
4:08 HOPE MEDICAL: Yes. Currently, um, we are the only facility that I know anywhere nearby is open and operating. [4:15 CALLER: Oh, okay.] And we will stay open and operating [4:19 CALLER: Okay.] as long as possible.
BREAKING: @HopeClinicWomen is committing abortions in defiance of a state ban on abortion & most surgical procedures
“We are the only facility that I know anywhere nearby that’s open & operating, & we’ll stay open & operating as long as possible,” they told our investigator
— Live Action (@LiveAction) March 27, 2020
Lila Rose, the head of the pro-life group, condemned the Louisiana abortion center for violating the order.
“In Louisiana, the abortion industry proves once again that it will seek profit no matter what. While the rest of the world is focused on rescuing the vulnerable from COVID-19, Hope Medical Group is scheduling abortions that will kill children, harm women, and use up precious medical resources like masks, gloves, and gowns,” she said.
Rose added: “As Louisiana Senator Katrina Jackson noted on Thursday, Louisiana’s legitimate medical providers, like dentists, are donating these valuable resources to the hospitals fighting COVID-19 in Louisiana. But Hope Medical Group is focused on nothing but profiting from abortion. We call on Governor John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry to immediately shut down Hope Medical Group and penalize it for defying the state and endangering the community.”
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:
States Attempting to Protect Babies From Abortion
Texas: Abortion centers are temporarily closed after Governor Greg Abbott’s order. But Texas abortion businesses have sued the state to reopen. Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit as well to do abortions and ignore the order.
States Not Protecting Babies From Abortion
New York: New York has issued an order to stop non-essential health services but is not applying it to abortion centers. New York Attorney General: Coronavirus Crisis is No Reason to Stop Killing Babies in Abortions
New Jersey: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.
Michigan: Governor Whitmer has stopped non-essential medical surgeries but allowed abortion clinics to keep killing babies.
North Carolina: Pro-life groups have called on the governor to stop abortions during the coronavirus crisis.
Washington: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.
California: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded. But 11 Planned Parenthood abortion centers have voluntarily closed.
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.