Judge Rules: If Abortion Clinics Think Killing a Baby is “Essential,” Then It’s Essential

State   Steven Ertelt   Apr 2, 2020   |   6:23PM    Columbus, Ohio

How do you know if killing a baby in an abortion is “essential?” If the abortion clinic says so.

That’s akin to letting a rapist determine if his sexual assault truly constitutes rape, but it’s the decision U.S. District Court Judge Michael Barrett just issued in the dispute between the state of Ohio and abortion businesses over whether abortions are medically essential procedures.

Ohio is one of several states that included elective abortions in their bans on non-essential medical procedures during the global health crisis. The orders are meant to save lives by conserving medical resources and preventing further spread of the virus.

But Planned Parenthood and other abortion companies sued Ohio and Judge Barrett put the order on hold as it applied to them while he reviewed the case more fully. This afternoon, he released his decision, letting abortion centers themselves determine if they are in compliance with a legal order:

The decision let stand U.S. District Court Judge Michael R. Barrett’s order that says if “a health-care provider determines, on a case-by-case basis, that the surgical procedure is medically indicated and cannot be delayed, based on the timing of pre-viability or other medical conditions said procedure is determined legally essential to preserve a woman’s right to constitutionally protected access to abortions.”

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has already appealed Judge Barret’s temporary restraining order and his decision will be appealed as well. Yost and his office slammed the federal judge’s decision:

His office wrote, “If this Court declines to stay and reverse the District Court’s ruling, the people working hardest to save Ohioans from COVID-19 will die as a result. That is not an exaggeration. First responders and hospital personnel in Ohio face a critical shortage of “PPEs”—protective equipment needed to keep them from contracting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.

Yost’s team sharply criticized the abortion clinics for seeking a way around the health order.

“Never mind the concerns regarding the pandemic; never mind the unnecessary use of scarce PPEs will inevitably cause nurses, doctors, and first responders to become afflicted with COVID-19; never mind that some of them will transmit that disease to others; never mind that some of the afflicted will die. According to the abortion providers, no slight inconvenience to the on-demand provision of elective abortions is a price worth paying to avoid these grisly, preventable deaths.”

The AG filed a notice that the state of Ohio will appeal the ruling by Judge Barrett to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Even though there is nothing essential about aborting an unborn baby, Ohio District Court Judge Michael Barrett ruled late Monday that closing abortion facilities would cause “irreparable harm” to women.

This statewide order, which was issued by the ODH’s Director Dr. Amy Acton, mandated that non-essential surgical procedures cease in light of the COVID-19 pandemic to conserve medical equipment in short supply. While the vast majority of Ohio’s medical professionals took immediate action to comply, abortion facilities across the state continued to perform surgical abortions.

However, Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups are suing to block these bans. Just hours after they filed the lawsuit, Barrett issued a two-week order blocking the state from enforcing the elective abortion ban, according to the report.

“The law is well-settled that women possess a fundamental constitutional right of access to abortions,” Barrett wrote in his ruling. “If a healthcare provider determines, on a case-by-case basis, that the surgical procedure is medically indicated and cannot be delayed, based on the timing of pre-viability or other medical conditions, said procedure is deemed legally essential to preserve a woman’s right to constitutionally protected access to abortions.”

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Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has announced that the state will appeal, a decision pro-life groups are applauding today.

“We thank Attorney General Yost for enforcing the law and ensuring that Planned Parenthood and their abortion allies are held to the same standard under the State’s Health Order that every other surgical facility is currently,” Stephanie Ranade Krider, Vice President of Ohio Right to Life, told LifeNews.com. “Regardless of how many times Planned Parenthood ignores the law and claims that they deserve special treatment under the Health Order- we know better. Abortion is not essential and these facilities’ blatant disregard for human life and safety during this crisis only serves to underline that fact.”

The order, which was given by ODH Director Dr. Amy Acton on March 17th, mandated that all non-essential surgical procedures be halted in order to preserve vital PPEs and reduce the spread of COVID-19. On March 20th, Ohio Right to Life sent a letter to the President of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio calling on them to close in compliance with the ODH’s Health Order. Soon after, Ohio Right to Life started a petition to urge the Ohio Department of Health to enforce the Health Order and hold Ohio’s surgical abortion facilities, including Planned Parenthood, accountable to the law. The petition now has over 800 signatures.

Even after receiving a cease and desist order from Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost sent March 20th these clinics remained open, going so far as to petition a federal judge to force the state to make an exception to the health order for all surgical abortions.

“Ohio Right to Life thanks pro-life Ohioans for their tireless advocacy on behalf of our society’s most vulnerable,” said Krider. “As Ohioans across our great state do their best to protect lives during this pandemic, we are thankful both to our attorney general and to Governor DeWine for their commitment to protect life and hold the abortion industry accountable. Countless lives will be saved thanks to their actions.”

As LifeNews.com reported, abortion facilities have been ignoring Ohio Health Director Amy Acton’s mandate to stop non-essential medical procedures. State officials confirmed that they were investigating potential violations.

State Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown, echoed their request to halt abortions, noting the growing health crisis.

“The point of the order was to stop the spread of the deadly virus and ensure there would be (personal protective equipment) for the protection for our first responders and health-care workers, which would in turn slow the spread to the general population,” Keller said. “Yet this order remains unenforced while the number of COVID-19 cases in Ohio grows exponentially by the day.”

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. A federal judge blocked the order and allowed abortion centers to keep killing babies but a federal appeals court reinstated the order.

Maryland: Abortion centers are included in the abortion order to stop non-essential procedures but they have been caught violating the order.

Louisiana: Abortion centers are included in the order to close and all three closed initially but at least one abortion center has been caught doing abortions.

Ohio: Abortion centers are included in the order to close but they are refusing to close. The health department is now investigating those violations. Meanwhile, a judge has blocked the state’s order banning abortions.

Mississippi: Abortion centers are included in the order and the state’s sole abortion business has closed.

Tennessee: Tennessee Governor Wants Abortion Businesses to Close, Killing Babies is Not “Essential” Medical Care

Oklahoma: Oklahoma Gov Orders Abortion Businesses to Close, Killing Babies is Not “Essential” Medical Care. The Planned Parenthood abortion business has sued to keep doing abortions.

Kentucky: Attorney General Asks Health Department to Shut Down Abortion Clinics to Combat Coronavirus

Iowa: Governor Kim Reynolds Bans Killing Babies in Abortions to Save Medical Resources to Fight Coronavirus

Indiana: Governor Bans Killing Babies in Abortions to Save Medical Resources to Fight Coronavirus. At least one abortion business is refusing to comply.

Alabama: Alabama stopped abortions under its non-essential order until April 13th but a judge ruled the state can’t infringe on the so-called “right” to abortion.

West Virginia: Gov Bans Killing Babies in Abortions to Save Medical Resources to Fight Coronavirus.

States Not Protecting Babies From Abortion

Kansas: Abortions are allowed in Kansas but a county in Wichita voted to close the late-term abortion clinic there.

Virginia: Christians Could be Jailed for 1 Year for Attending Church, But Abortion Clinics Can Keep Killing Babies

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. NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio has threatened to permanently close churches while letting abortion centers stay open.

Minnesota: Minnesota Issues Shelter at Home Order But People Can Still Go Kill Their Babies in Abortions

New Mexico: New Mexico Shuts Down Non-Essential Health Care, But Allows Abortion Clinics to Keep Killing Babies

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. Leading pro-life groups have heavily criticized her.

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. Pro-life groups have criticized Governor Tom Wolf for letting abortions continue.

Maine: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.

Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico Shuts Down Pregnancy Center Over Coronavirus, Lets Abortion Clinics Stay Open

Massachusetts: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.

International

Canada has banned every other non-essential medical procedure except abortion.