States issue orders halting abortion during the COVID-19 outbreak
Pregnancy resource centers providing “essential” care amidst abortion clinic shutdowns
By Brittany Smith
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are asking hospitals to halt non-essential elective surgeries during the coronavirus crisis.
The Trump Administration issued guidelines on surgery options but is leaving it up to state officials to determine what is considered essential– bringing the abortion debate to the forefront of the national conversation in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
At least six states, including Texas, Ohio and Mississippi said abortion is a non-essential procedure.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order stating that any “medically unnecessary surgeries and procedures” should be canceled during the outbreak.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office followed up Abbott’s order with their own press release. They explained that the governor’s order applies to “any type of abortion that is not medically necessary to preserve the life of the mother.”
Because of the proclamation, Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics across Texas are halting their procedures. Leaving room for pregnancy resource centers across the state to reach more women.
Jeanette Harvey, the executive director of Hope Women’s Clinic in Beaumont, TX, said that since the executive order, her clinic has seen an increase in clients.
“We’re reaching an audience of women we might not have reached before,” she said.
She even notes that some of her clients have been referred to Hope Women’s Clinic from a nearby abortion clinic.
“We are allowed to stay open because all of our services are free and are deemed essential, and serve a population that is low-income or does not have insurance. We also distribute diapers, formula and prenatal vitamins to our clients which are essential for women facing an unplanned pregnancy,” Harvey said.
“This is an important moment in the pro-life movement,” said Save the Storks Chief Communications Officer, Diane Ferraro. “Because pregnancy resource centers are staying open and providing essential services, they are able to reach more abortion-minded women. This is allowing them to show women that other options are out there and available to them.”
Hope Women’s Resource Clinic is an affiliate of Save the Storks which serves pregnancy resource centers around the nation. Save the Storks is updating a list of needs for PRCs daily on our Facebook page and blog.