On March 31, 2020, the State of Texas won an important appeal allowing it to implement Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-09. A panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Gov. Abbott’s order may go into effect while a legal challenge from the abortion industry continues to be considered in court. Prior to the Fifth Circuit panel’s decision, Executive Order GA-09 had been stayed by a federal judge. Signed by Gov. Abbott on March 22, 2020, Executive Order GA-09 temporarily bans all surgical procedures, including abortions, that are not “immediately medically necessary” to save a patient’s life or to “correct a serious medical condition.” Specifically, Executive Order GA-09 provides as follows:
[B]eginning now and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on April 21, 2020, all licensed health care professionals and all licensed health care facilities shall postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition of, or to preserve the life of, a patient who without immediate performance of the surgical procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient’s physician;
PROVIDED, however, that this prohibition shall not apply to any procedure that, if performed in accordance with the commonly accepted standard of clinical practice, would not deplete the hospital capacity or the personal protective equipment needed to cope with the COVID-19 disaster.
The Order correctly asserts that the coronavirus outbreak has led to a shortage of necessary medical supplies, including personal protective equipment worn by medical personnel. Performing unnecessary surgeries during the epidemic depletes the supply of that equipment and prevents it from being used where it is most needed. Executive Order GA-09, like similar orders signed by some other U.S. governors, helps to ensure that personal protective equipment is available where it is most needed during this crisis.
Of course, the abortion industry is fighting Executive Order GA-09 tooth and nail. Worse yet, the industry is being aided and abetted by New York Attorney General Letitia James. On March 26, 2020, Attorney General James made the following statement:
To be clear, the coronavirus is not an excuse for federal, state, or local governments to curtail women’s reproductive freedoms or limit their choices. Any woman who wants to go into a doctor’s office or into a clinic today and get an abortion should continue to be able to do so. And for those who do not feel comfortable leaving their homes as we battle COVID-19, we are fighting to maintain women’s access to abortion and the abortion pill so that their reproductive choices are not limited. The restrictions we are seeing be put into place are simply aimed at controlling women’s bodies, women’s choices, and women’s freedom, and I will do everything in my power to stop this attack on a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion.
On March 27, 2020, Attorney General James announced that she intended to create and lead a coalition of state attorneys general to push for continued access to abortion during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Attorney General, “‘Texas and other states are using the coronavirus as an excuse to deny women their constitutional right to an abortion… This is a full-on assault on women’s reproductive rights not only in Texas, but across the country, and I will not allow any state to usurp the rights of women enshrined in the Constitution… I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the millions of women who are being attacked by these unconstitutional bans.” Attorney General James stated that she planned to file an amicus brief, also known as a friend-of-the-court brief, challenging Gov. Abbott’s executive order.
What these words make clear is that for abortion enthusiasts like Attorney General James, nothing is more important than unfettered abortion access. Is the nation fighting an epidemic? Who cares? Keep performing elective abortions anyway. Is social distancing needed to keep the epidemic at bay? Absolutely—but not when abortion is involved. Keep those abortions coming, regardless of whether patients or abortion clinic staff get infected. Are hospitals running out of masks and gloves? So what? Abortion clinics must continue their work at all costs. Let the nation’s beleaguered hospital personnel (who are, quite literally, putting their lives on the line) get their masks and gloves from somewhere else. If they die, they die.
Christian New Yorkers should know that during an epidemic that has resulted in thousands of deaths, Attorney General Letitia James is deeply committed to ensuring that the abortion industry can cause even more deaths. While we should pray for the Attorney General, we must also pray against her destructive agenda. Please contact Attorney General James to express your disappointment in her abortion-promoting priorities.