AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Orders by Texas Governor Greg Abbott to stop all non-essential surgeries in the state during the coronavirus pandemic has unleashed a new battle over access to abortions.
Abbott issued a statewide order over the weekend to curb the use of medical supplies hospitals will need as they prepare for escalating infections in the spreading of COVID-19. The order bars hospitals from performing surgeries unless the patient faces an immediate risk for “serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient’s physician.”
A spokesman for the governor confirmed that would cover abortion in most cases while the order is in place until April 21.
Texas anti-abortion activists hailed the move amid the COVID-19 crisis.
“The abortion industry has been consuming and hoarding medical supplies that are in desperate need around the state including masks, gloves, and other protective gear for medical professionals,” Texas Right to Life said in a statement Monday.
In addition to the surgery mandate, a “shelter in place” order goes into effect in Dallas County at 11:59 p.m. Monday and is expected to last until at least 11:59 p.m. Friday.
A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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