Arkansas is one of the states where the governor has banned abortions along with, other non-essential medical procedures, to help fight the coronavirus by conserving medical supplies. And, today, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge affirmed that order and said his office would take every step available to it to hold abortion centers accountable.
As LifeNews.com reported, Governor Asa Hutchinson released a letter via the Arkansas state health department last Friday saying that all health care facilities postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not medically necessary during the current COVID-19 pandemic. In his statement the Governor said that all ambulatory surgical centers and all abortion facilities are included.
Today, Rutledge warned all licensed health care professionals and all licensed health care facilities, including abortion businesses, that pursuant the April 3, 2020 Directive on Elective Surgeries issued by the Department of Health, they must postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary.
“Arkansans must work together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “All medically unnecessary surgeries and procedures, including abortions, must be postponed until after this crisis has ended. Those who violate the Department of Health’s directive will be met with decisive action, and my office will forcefully defend the State officials involved in keeping Arkansans safe.”
Last Friday, the Department of Health issued a directive mandating that all surgeries and procedures that can be safely postponed to a further date be postponed while the COVID-19 emergency is ongoing. This prohibition applies throughout the State to all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary, including routine dental and eye visits, as well as most scheduled healthcare procedures such as orthopedic surgeries or any type of abortion that is not immediately medically necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.
The Department of Health, acting within its emergency powers under Governor Hutchinson’s March 11 emergency proclamation, issued this directive to preserve staff, personal protective equipment and patient care supplies to ensure staff and patient safety and to expand available hospital capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Postponing surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary will ensure the availability of hospital beds and personal protective equipment needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The failure of healthcare facilities to comply with the Department of Health’s directive will lead to administrative penalties, up to and including license suspension.
Senator Trent Garner posted a copy of the letter and thanked Governor Hutchinson for issuing the ban and including abortion centers in it.
“Thank you to @AsaHutchinson for listening to our concerns and shutting down elective abortions. We must put the safety of Arkansans 1st, and preserve PPE for real medical needs. The clinics have to follow the law, or risk the safety of many,” he tweeted.
The purpose of these directives is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for use by those engaged in serving the needs of COVID-19 patients.
Representatives of over 30,000 physicians have responded to the claims of pro-abortion medical groups that elective abortions are “essential healthcare.” In their response, the 30,000 physicians point out that “elective abortion treats no disease process” and “[c]ontinuing to perform elective abortions during a pandemic is medically irresponsible.”
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In addition, the physicians point out that “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 indicated that 5% of women who undergo medication (chemical) abortions end in an emergency room, usually for hemorrhage.
Last week, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb banned abortions in the state in order to preserve medical resources to help fight the coronavirus. Governor Holcomb has issued orders calling for a halt to all elective and non-urgent surgical procedures in Indiana and he included abortion clinics in the new emergency orders related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Governor Jim Justice of West Virginia issued a similar order.
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. Eventually the 5th Circuit overturned the judge’s decision and allowed Texas to ban abortions, but the judge issued a more narrow ruling letting some abortions continue.
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 and later ruled that it’s up to abortion companies if abortions are essential.
Tennessee: Tennessee Governor Wants Abortion Businesses to Close, Killing Babies is Not “Essential” Medical Care. Reports indicate the order is not being enforced and abortions are continuing.
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.
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. The state is fighting the ruling at the appeals court.
Alaska: The governor of Alaska added abortions to the list of non-essential medical procedures to be banned but left a big loophole that may allow abortions to continue.
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.
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.
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.
Maine: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.
Massachusetts: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.
Canada has banned every other non-essential medical procedure except abortion. And Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was exposed spending anti-coronavirus funds on abortions.