AUSTIN (CBSDFW/AP) – Despite an executive order postponing any unnecessary medical procedures, including abortions until April 21, the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says some clinics are still providing terminations for women in need.
Thus, Paxton filed a brief in a United States District Court in Austin to enforce Governor Abbott’s Executive Order (GA 09) issued last weekend curbing the use of medical supplies hospitals need as they prepare for escalating infections in the spreading of COVID-19.
The brief says in part: “But Plaintiffs—a collection of abortion clinics and one abortionist physician—ask this Court to grant them a special exemption, claiming a right to deplete or endanger precious PPE resources and hospital capacity in the name of providing abortions. They have no right to special treatment. 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.”
Read a copy of Executive Order GA 09 here.
Read a copy of the brief here.
“Medical professionals are in dire need of supplies, and abortion providers who refuse to follow state law are demonstrating a clear disregard for Texans suffering from this medical crisis,” said Attorney General Paxton. “All Texans must work together to stop the spread of COVID-19. My office will continue to defend Governor Abbott’s Order to ensure that supplies and personal protective gear reach the hardworking medical professionals who need it the most during this health crisis.”
Several abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood are suing Texas in what they’re calling an “abortion ban.”
Their federal lawsuit filed last week, is among the most high-profile challenges to a government response to the coronavirus pandemic. The chief executive of Whole Woman’s Health, an abortion provider with three clinics in Texas, said they canceled 150 appointments the week after Abbott issued the order.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has also included abortions in his executive order banning elective surgeries amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Stitt later amended the order to specifically prohibit abortions unless they were necessary to prevent health risks to the mother.
For now, Oklahoma’s abortion ban only applies through April 7, although it could be extended.