Authorities in multiple states are seeking to close abortion clinics as part of the stoppage of non-essential medical procedures in the face of the coronavirus emergency.
All three abortion providers in Louisiana appeared to have stopped performing the procedure in compliance with Gov. John Bel Edwards, while Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent out his order Monday.
Mr. Paxton “warned all licensed health care professionals and all licensed health care facilities, including abortion providers, that, pursuant to Executive Order GA 09 issued by Gov. Greg Abbott, they must postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary,” the attorney general’s office said.
Pro-life groups hailed the developments, which they said made Louisiana “officially the first abortion-free state in the country,” while lamenting the reason behind the temporary shut downs.
“We want to make sure the governor’s call to fight the pandemic is being followed,” said Benjamin Clapper, executive director of the Louisiana Right to Life chapter. “Last week it looked like they were not following the governor’s order, now, thankfully, they have.”
It was not immediately clear if Pelican State abortion providers had shut down. At the Women’s Health Care Center in New Orleans a caller was disconnected after asking if abortions were still being performed, while an email to a spokesperson with Hope Medical, which runs abortion clinics in Shreveport and Baton Rouge had not responded to an email they requested from The Washington Times.
Ohio is another state were the status of abortion clinics was unclear as the Buckeye state tries to combat the virus that first infected people in Wuhan, China, last year before enveloping the planet.
In Ohio, for example, it appeared some or all of the Buckeye abortion clinics had defied mandates that non-essential medical procedures cease. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost had ordered two clinics to stop performing abortions last week to bring them in compliance with the non-essential suspension, according to accounts in The Columbus Dispatch.
Both Louisiana and Ohio are also under governor-issued “shelter in place” orders since Monday. Thus far, Texas Gov. Abbott has resisted such rules in the Lone State State, although officials in some counties, such as Dallas, have.
• James Varney can be reached at email@example.com.
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