Abortion clinics across Ohio are continuing to schedule surgical abortions during the coronavirus pandemic despite being told not to by state government officials.
Created Equal, an Ohio-based pro-life organization, confirmed in a video released Monday that Planned Parenthood, Preterm clinic, and the Northeast Ohio Women’s Center are still scheduling abortions.
“We are scheduling as normal,” a Preterm staff member told Created Equal in a recorded phone call.
Ohio 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.
Created Equal discovered that at least seven abortion clinics across the state were defying the order.
As a result, Attorney General Yost sent a letter Friday to Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio and various other abortion providers ordering them to “immediately stop performing non-essential and elective surgical abortions,” The Ohio Star reported.
In a statement released Sunday, Planned Parenthood claimed that it can continue to provide surgical abortions because they are “essential,” not elective, procedures.
“We are complying with the Ohio Department of Health’s order regarding personal protective equipment, which requires hospitals and surgical facilities to stop providing non-essential surgeries and procedures and take other steps to reduce the use of equipment in short supply,” Iris E. Harvey, president of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, and Kersha Deibel, president of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio, said in a joint statement.
“Under that Order, Planned Parenthood can still continue providing essential procedures, including surgical abortion, and our health centers continue to offer other health care services that our patients depend on. Our doors remain open for this care,” the statement added.
The Women’s Med Center told Dayton Daily News that it received a letter from Yost’s office, but plans to remain open for abortions.
“If abortion is a ‘choice’ then abortion is an elective procedure. However, abortionists want to have it both ways. In a clear double standard, abortion centers across the nation are staying open during this national health crisis, risking public health and safety,” Mark Harrington, president and founder of Created Equal, said in a press release.
“These centers must close their doors to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” he continued. “If they believe in the health and safety of Americans, they must comply with these orders to cease providing abortions.”
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