Ohio Democrats called Attorney General Dave Yost “opportunistic” for urging abortion clinics to close during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health issued an executive order Tuesday that required health providers to cancel all non-essential or elective surgeries that utilize personal protective equipment (PPE).
Created Equal, an Ohio-based pro-life organization, discovered that at least seven abortion clinics across the state were defying the order, including Preterm clinic, the Women’s Med Center, and various Planned Parenthood facilities.
As a result, Attorney General Yost sent a letter Friday to Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio ordering it to “immediately stop performing non-essential and elective surgical abortions,” The Ohio Star reported.
The Ohio Democratic Women’s Legislative Caucus released a statement calling the attorney general’s letter “opportunistic” and “despicable.”
“During an emergency, there is always a chance of government overreach under the guise of ‘security’ or adherence to ‘law and order.’ In times of national crisis, we have seen egregious acts that have circumvented our freedoms before. And make no mistake – we are seeing them today,” said the statement.
“Right now an opportunistic attorney general is seizing on a moment of public vulnerability to push his political agenda. This is a strategic attack on women and a calculated political maneuver intended to strip away our legal right to abortion care at the most uncertain of times. Attorney General Yost’s actions are despicable,” it added.
The caucus argued that abortion is an “essential, time-sensitive, legal medical procedure,” according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
“Postponing it even a few days is a restriction to access and is unconstitutional. The state should not be picking and choosing which medical procedures are elective or essential. This latitude has appropriately been given to health care professionals and their patients, not male ideological politicians,” the statement continued.
The statement concluded by suggesting that Ohio women will have to travel out of state in order to seek an abortion, which would be a violation of the coronavirus guidelines issued by DeWine’s administration.
“Attorney General Yost should be ashamed,” said the statement. “This is a time for our state to put aside personal ideology and political tricks for the good of the public, not to take advantage of a global pandemic.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Ohio Democratic Legislative Caucus” by Ohio House Democrats.