March 24, 2020

Ohio Abortion Clinics Defy Governor's Order to Halt Non-Essential Procedures Amidst Pandemic

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost
On March 17, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost issued an order to halt all elective surgical procedures in the state to preserve personal protective equipment so it remains available for hospital workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Several Ohio abortion clinics have publicly announced that their doors are still open and they are performing surgical abortions despite the state's order; claiming that surgical abortions are "essential health care."

On March 20, the Ohio Attorney General's Office issued notices to Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio’s Cincinnati Surgery Center and the Women’s Med Center in Dayton. These notices included a warning that unless non-essential surgical procedures were halted, the Department of Health will take action against these abortion businesses:
"On March 17, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health issued an order pursuant to the Department’s powers under R.C. 3701.13. That order (attached) cancelled all non-essential or elective surgeries and procedures utilizing personal protective equipment (“PPE”) as of 5:00 p.m. on March 18, 2020. The order was issued, in part, to preserve PPE for health care providers who are battling the COVID-19 pandemic that is spreading in our state and also to preserve critical hospital capacity and resources. 
The Ohio Department of Health has received a complaint that your facility has been performing or continues to offer to perform surgical abortions, which necessarily involve the use of PPE. On behalf of the Department, you and your facility are ordered to immediately stop performing non-essential and elective surgical abortions. Non-essential surgical abortions are those that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of a patient. The Department of Health has outlined criteria to consider when determining whether a procedure is essential (see attached order). If you or your facility do not immediately stop performing non-essential or elective surgical abortions in compliance with the attached order, the Department of Health will take all appropriate measures."
Stopping abortion procedures (all of which should be considered non-essential) would slow the spread of COVID-19, free important protective equipment such as masks for use in hospitals, and reduce the need for emergency room care by preventing women from facing the complications that can occur during an abortion (such as hemorrhaging).

Click here to read more.