Pro-Life Leaders Urge Health Officials to Oppose Abortion Promotion During Virus Pandemic

Michael W. Chapman | March 24, 2020 | 1:09pm EDT
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(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

( -- As health care workers and medical facilities deal with the challenges of the coronavirus, including postponing certain care and rationing beds to immediately aid the victims of COVID-19, pro-life leaders have called on officials to oppose the promotion of abortion so equipment and personnel are available to help the virus victims.

“[E]ach of us is responding to the call to examine how we can lessen demands on our health care system for equipment and services needed by those who are ill or at increased risk" because of COVID-19, reads a letter from more than 50 pro-life leaders to Alex Azar, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. (Getty Images)
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. (Getty Images)

"Unfortunately, there is one clear outlier – the abortion industry, including the largest abortion chain in the nation, Planned Parenthood," reads the letter, which originated with the Susan B. Anthony List, headed by Marjorie Dannenfelser. 

"In acts of manifest fear-mongering and self-interest, they are exploiting the anxiety of women and couples by continuing to promote abortion in communities across the country," states the pro-life coalition.

"While we are in a hectic race to save lives, Planned Parenthood and other powers in the abortion industry remain insistent on taking the lives of innocent unborn children," reads the letter.  "While surgery centers postpone elective and diagnostic procedures, abortion centers are churning out surgical and chemical abortions and putting women, especially the poor, at risk."

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. (SBA List)
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. (SBA List)

"Their continued operation depletes sorely needed personal protective equipment and leads to complications that will further overwhelm already overextended emergency rooms," according to the coalition.  "The abortion industry is compounding one crisis with another."

"Therefore, we urge public officials to use their broad emergency authority to safeguard against the extreme abortion agenda," state the pro-life leaders.

The coalition specifically urges officials to pursue the following:

  • Ensure that emergency response funds are not diverted to the abortion industry;
  • Urge the abortion industry to cease operations and join other healthcare providers in donating their PPE and other equipment to coronavirus response;
  • Ensure that telemedicine abortion is not expanded during the crisis and maintain FDA limits on dispensing of chemical abortion;
  • Continue actions to stop illegal mail-order sale of chemical abortion; and
  • Promote medically accurate and supportive information for women that counters the inaccurate and exploitative messaging coming from an abortion industry all too happy to use the current pandemic to scare women and families into abortion.

Last Friday, Ohio Attorney General Dale Yost sent a letter to abortion providers in that state, ordering them to immediately cease all "non-essential and elective surgical abortions" as Ohio deals with the medical pressures of COVID-19. 

  (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

In response, the wife of pro-abortion Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) tweeted that this was "an abuse of power."

Heidi Sieck, chief executive of #VoteProChoice, said, "Let me clarify this misinformation: abortion is not an elective procedure, it is an essential component of comprehensive health care," as reported by Mother Jones. "It’s insidious for anti-choice lawmakers to use a time of crisis to restrict abortion and reproductive care when every moment matters greatly to the patient’s ability to access the service.”

In Texas, Attorney General Ken Paxton ordered abortion providers to stop performing the procedure unless the life of the mother is threatened. 

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“No one is exempt from the governor’s executive order on medically unnecessary surgeries and procedures, including abortion providers,” reads a statement from Paxton's office. “Those who violate the governor’s order will be met with the full force of the law.”  The order expires on April 21, 2020.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology, along with other pro-abortion groups, released a statement last week claiming that "abortion is an essential component of comprehensive health care."

In its letter to Secretary Azar, the pro-life coalition said, "At a time when hospitals are overloaded, the abortion industry is putting women at risk of incomplete abortion, hemorrhage, and infection. Women undergoing chemical abortions are especially vulnerable, experiencing four times as many adverse events as women undergoing surgical abortions."

"As many as five to seven percent of all women obtaining chemical abortions will require surgical procedures," states the coalition.  "Three percent could end up in the emergency room."

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

In addition to SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, the letter is signed by Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, Lila Rose, president of Live Action, and 46 other pro-life leaders from across the country. 

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