On Easter Sunday, a federal judge ruled that Alabama cannot stop abortion facilities from killing unborn babies in elective abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled that abortion facilities should be the ones to decide if an abortion is essential, and the state cannot close them – even during a national health crisis, the AP reports.
Thompson issued a preliminary injunction, which expands his earlier ruling blocking the state from enforcing health care restrictions on abortion facilities. His initial ruling expired Monday.
Similar to most states, Alabama is restricting all non-essential medical care during the pandemic. The purpose is to conserve medical resources and prevent further spread of the virus. Several states included elective abortions in their orders, but abortion facilities are suing many of the states to block the mandates.
“Based on the current record, the defendants’ efforts to combat COVID-19 do not outweigh the lasting harm imposed by the denial of an individual’s right to terminate her pregnancy, by an undue burden or increase in risk on patients imposed by a delayed procedure, or by the cloud of unwarranted prosecution against providers,” Thompson wrote Sunday.
He argued that abortion facilities are being “singled out for adverse consequences” because they do abortions, according to the Birmingham News. Thompson has a history of ruling for the abortion industry.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of the abortion facilities in the state. In a statement, it praised the ruling as a “critical victory.”
“Politicians should be focused on protecting the health and safety of our community, not using the pandemic as a way to limit access to abortion,” said Randall Marshall, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama.
However, state Attorney General Steve Marshall expressed outrage at the lawsuit last week.
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“Put simply, no provider or clinic is excused from compliance with this order,” Marshall said in a statement. “At a time when all Americans are making significant sacrifices to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, it is remarkable that one class of providers demands to be treated differently than all others.”
He said abortion facilities want an exemption, but they are not exempt from the risks of spreading the virus in crowded waiting rooms or using up scarce medical supplies that are needed to save lives.
Marshall also joined 15 other state attorneys general in filing a friend of the court brief supporting states that are including elective abortions in their health care restrictions, according to the report.
Thompson’s ruling conflicts with a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on Friday allowing Texas to temporarily stop elective abortions, The Hill reports.
Abortion advocacy groups also filed lawsuits against Ohio, Oklahoma and Iowa. Notably, none of the lawsuits against these states were filed by women claiming harm. All of them come from abortion advocacy groups and abortion facilities that benefit financially from the killing of unborn babies.
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. Now Planned Parenthood is asking the Supreme Court to allow killing babies in non-essential 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.
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.
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.