Pro-lifers question abortion's status amid pandemic

Thursday, March 26, 2020
Charlie Butts, Jody Brown (

Planned Parenthood logo with cash backgroundNumerous pro-life groups want federal action to halt abortion during the coronavirus situation.

Several states have closed or are in the process of closing abortion clinics, but more than 50 pro-life groups have signed a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar calling out the abortion industry for using the crisis to exploit women.

"While most Americans are taking extreme care and really making sacrifices to protect the health and safety of themselves and others, the abortion lobby truly seems to be doing the exact opposite of that by exploiting the fears of women and families and urging them to have abortions at a time when there's already a lot of uncertainty and anxiety in our nation," laments Prudence Robertson of the Susan B. Anthony List.

Many people remain at home, not working, and many businesses are shuttered to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, so the groups signing the letter are concerned that so many abortion clinics are open for business as usual.


"Not only are abortionists using up personal protective equipment that should be funneled toward coronavirus response, they're doing so in the context of dangerous procedures that could result in hospitalizing even more women," says Robertson.

That would add more pressure on hospitals and their employees. So since hospitals and clinics are being asked to cancel non-essential elective surgery, the pro-life groups do not think abortion facilities should be operating full-steam ahead with non-essential, life-ending procedures.

Ruth Institute president Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse is asking the same question. “What part of ‘elective” in ‘elective abortion’ do these people not understand?” she wonders.

The ultimate irony

Morse points out that healthcare facilities have been advised to reschedule non-urgent appointments and elective procedures – and that attorneys general in Ohio and Texas have specifically ordered abortion clinics to close their doors during the COVID-19 crisis. Yet, she says, it's not surprising that some abortion facilities have responded by saying abortion is an essential service because it’s "time-sensitive."


"Officials in Ohio and Texas issued these orders because abortion clinics put a burden on EMTs and ERs when something goes wrong, as it all too often does," she states in a press release. "But the abortion lobby will not be deterred. What's saving the lives of coronavirus patients compared to taking the lives of unborn children?"

The Ruth Institute leader explains that elective abortions are, by definition, not life-threatening.

"I hope the Ohio and Texas AGs will prosecute abortion facilities that defy the orders to close during this emergency," says Morse. "The recalcitrance of the abortion lobby underscores the fanaticism and totalitarian ideology behind the Sexual Revolution.”

She continues: "In the abortion lobby's mind, nothing must be allowed to interfere with unrestricted access to abortion – not even a pandemic in which it's crucial to conserve medical resources for victims. To the abortion lobby, the needs of COVID-19 patients are less important than the need to eliminate unborn children."

Evidently, abortion groups are seeking relief from the Texas edict issued by Governor Greg Abbott to halt elective abortions. That order instructs hospitals and clinics to halt non-essential surgical procedures through April 21 partly to free up badly needed medical supplies for use in the fight against the coronavirus. Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an order indicating that abortion clinics are included.

Under that order, any abortionist violating the state order could face a fine of $1,000 and a maximum 180 days in jail. However, abortion organizations have filed suit seeking an emergency injunction so they can continue to terminate preborn babies.

Proudly open for business

The pro-life group Created Equal contacted abortion clinics in various cities to find out if they were continuing surgical abortions in defiance of calls for non-essential businesses to close down. Below are a few of the responses:

Ohio (recorded message): "Northeast Ohio Women's Center is open for service. The order from the Ohio governor limiting elective surgery does not apply to our facility."

From the Houston Women's Clinic in Texas:

Houston: "Thank you for holding. How may I help you?"
Caller: "Yeh. This is the Houston Women's Clinic, right"
Houston: "Yes, it is."
Caller: "Okay, are you still open for abortions?"
Houston: "Yes, we are."
Caller: "Okay. I just thought with the virus closing everything down that maybe ..."
Houston: "Yes, we're open."

And from the Atlanta Women's Center in Georgia:

Atlanta: "Emily speaking, how can I help you?"
Caller: "This is the Atlanta Women's Center?"
Atlanta: "Yes."
Caller: "Are you guys still doing abortions?"
Atlanta: "Yes, we are."

In each instance, Created Equal found that abortion clinics were still terminating preborn babies via surgery; and in some instances, there were lines of women waiting for facilities to open to obtain abortions – increasing the potential for people to contract the virus.

Editor's note: Remarks from Ruth Institute and Created Equal added after story was originally posted.


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