Oh Sure, Ohio Is Definitely Just Trying To Cancel Abortions Because Of The Rona
In April of last year, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill into law banning all abortions after six weeks, with no exceptions for rape or incest. While it was supposed to go into effect in July, it has been blocked by a federal judge who understands that it is actually illegal to do that. In November, Ohio legislators attempted to pass another ban that was somehow even worse — one which would require doctors to attempt to reimplant ectopic pregnancies (a thing it is literally impossible to do) and impose the death penalty on those who perform abortions while also committing another crime. You know, because people are always stopping in the middle of a bank robbery to perform a quick D&C. This was not even the first time legislators in the state had attempted to make the procedure a capital crime.
Now, the state is trying to ban abortion again — but this time, it's totally different and has nothing at all to do with their dreams of getting to force people to give birth against their will. They just really, really care about making sure that medical personnel have all of the supplies they need during the pandemic and don't want anyone doing any elective procedures that could be done just as easily after this whole thing is over.
Last week, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton sent out letters to at least three abortion clinics demanding that they cease performing surgical abortions immediately.
"The order was issued, in part, to preserve PPE (personal protective equipment) for health care providers who are battling the Covid-19 pandemic that is spreading in our state and also to preserve critical hospital capacity and resources," the letters, which were reviewed by CNN, say. Surgical abortions, the letters say, "involve the use of PPE."
The Attorney General's office said the letters, signed by Ohio Deputy Attorney General Jonathan Fulkerson, comply with an order from Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, who wrote that effective March 18, all non-essential or elective surgeries and procedures "should not be conducted."
"This is not an abortion issue," Bethany McCorkle, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Attorney General's Office, told CNN. "A letter was also sent to a urology group that was allegedly performing elective surgeries. As our client, if Dr. Acton's office determines that her order was violated by any surgical facility in Ohio, they can refer it to our office to pursue legal action on behalf of the Ohio Department of Health."
In her order, Acton defined a non-essential surgery as "any procedure that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of a patient."
One would think that this would include a time-sensitive procedure like abortion, but it seems that Ohio officials just don't think that forcing someone to give birth against their will creates an undue risk to their current or future health. Like it's a nose job or something. It is not a nose job, and to those who need one, it is absolutely essential.
Acton, who was hand-picked by super anti-choice Governor Mike DeWine, continued to insist on Saturday that this was not a political decision, which it very obviously is.
"I am the doctor for 11.7 million people and all women no matter where they fall on this," she said. "And I think that's very important we cannot allow the politics of things to get in the way of doing what we have to do in a state of emergency."
Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio, one of the clinics on the receiving end of one of Acton's letters, sent out a statement on Twitter explaining that they would absolutely comply with the Ohio Department of Health's order regarding personal protective equipment, but would still continue providing essential procedures. Like surgical abortion.
We're here with you. https://t.co/IWc4YZH33A— Planned Parenthood (@Planned Parenthood)1584817948.0
Good for them!
Conservatives love to talk about the Left supposedly weaponizing tragedy for political gain — you know, like when we respond to endless mass shootings by suggesting that we implement some gun control here and there, in order to prevent more mass shootings — but it's pretty obvious that this is what's going on right now. The Right has been whining about abortions continuing since the beginning of this pandemic and it's not because they are worried about the lack of personal protective equipment. It's because they resent the idea of abortion being deemed essential — and if they can't force people to stay pregnant against their will in an emergency, when can they?
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse