As the rest of the nation copes with the new normal, at Planned Parenthood it’s business as usual.
Planned Parenthood’s doors are still open, even as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the nation: “Our doors will stay open because sexual and reproductive health care is extremely important, and we have to ensure access to it,” Meera Shah, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood in the New York City suburbs of Long Island, Westchester, and Rockland, one of the hardest-hit regions in the country, told BuzzFeed News.
“Pregnancy-related care, especially abortion care, is essential and life-affirming, especially now when there is so much insecurity around jobs and food and paychecks and childcare.”
One of Shah’s clinics is located in New Rochelle in Westchester County, the first jurisdiction in the country to be designated a containment zone due to a COVID-19 outbreak, where the National Guard was sent in to help with feeding and cleaning efforts.
Some patients have tested positive for COVID-19 in her region’s clinics and have consequently not come in for their appointment, Shah said, but “it seems like patients are doing everything they can to get to their appointments at this time. Some patients have expressed to me… that they were scared that they may not have health insurance in the future, that they may not be able to get their appointments, that childcare is becoming more of an issue now with all of the schools closed.”
The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 continues to escalate, as has the government response. Bars and restaurants all over the country are being forced to close, people are being told by the CDC not to gather in groups of more than 10, many organizations are asking employees to work from home, and some jurisdictions, like California, have issued shelter-in-place orders, requiring people to only leave their homes for essential reasons like food and health care.
But Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics insist that the services they provide are essential.
“We’re complying with all the CDC and Department of Health Guidelines,” Shah told BuzzFeed News. “But everyone is still showing up, you know, because somebody wanting an abortion is still going to want an abortion despite there being a viral outbreak.”
Currently, all the clinic workers are wearing masks, Shah said, but like many other places in the country, they are running low. As hospitals struggle to find masks and other protective gear they need in order to keep doctors and nurses working and COVID-19 patients alive, Planned Parenthood clinics have donated zero supplies. So much for all of us doing our part.
Ohio’s attorney general has ordered the state’s abortion providers to stop performing surgical abortions to conserve personal protective gear during the COVID-19 outbreak, but Planned Parenthood claims abortion is “essential” and will continue at its Ohio sites.
Attorney General Dave Yost has sent letters to two facilities — Women’s Med Center in Dayton and Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio’s Cincinnati Surgery Center — ordering them to stop conducting any procedures that require the use of personal protective equipment.
“You and your facility are ordered to immediately stop performing non-essential and elective surgical abortions,” the attorney general’s letter reads. “Non-essential surgical abortions are those that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of a patient.” It continues, “If you or your facility do not immediately stop performing non-essential or elective surgical abortions in compliance with the [health director’s] order, the Department of Health will take all appropriate measures.”
The order pertains to all of Ohio’s abortion providers, clarifying that if a facility uses personal protective equipment to perform the procedure, the order applies. The United States Department of Labor’s classification of personal protective equipment includes gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits.
With panic buying occurring nationwide in the U.S., resulting in shortages of medical supplies, healthcare workers and first responders are left to face their essential, life-saving work with a shortage of basic protective gear.
Planned Parenthood responded to the attorney general’s letter with the claim that they are in compliance with the Health Department’s order and abortions will continue. “Our doors remain open for this care,” wrote presidents and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region in a joint statement.
There are proposals in California to use both public and private operations as treatment centers for those infected with the coronavirus, including hotels and local recreation centers. Governor Gavin Newsom, and other states’ governors, should consider issuing such a guidance for Planned Parenthood’s clinics.
After all, if you can turn a hotel into a place to care for coronavirus patients, why wouldn’t you be able to do the same with a Planned Parenthood facility?
Governor Newsom’s recent directives include the indefinite postponement of elective medical procedures, but the directives don’t include abortion, which is elective.
Lila Rose, president of Live Action weighs in: “Unfortunately, there is this incredible double standard — or this hypocrisy — that is happening right now in California and beyond in many other states, because on the one hand we’re ready to protect human life from the virus. We’re literally shutting down businesses, people’s livelihoods are on the line, many people have lost their jobs, all in order to save innocent life, which I think many people want to get behind, and we care about human life, but then on the on the other hand, we are tolerating abortion facilities being open and on average killing 2,363 children every single day.”
Rose continues, “It’s heartbreaking. It’s not odd considering the way our society treats life in the womb, and we see children as totally disposable. Literally, they can be destroyed as long as they’re in utero. They can just be destroyed and thrown out like medical waste.”
Allowing abortion facilities to remain open right now allows them to prey on the fears of women, who may feel that they cannot handle pregnancy or having a child during such an uncertain time. Planned Parenthood is taking advantage of women who feel especially vulnerable.
“Now is the time for political action to shut these facilities down,” concluded Rose. “I’d like to see the White House recommending that.”
In California, Governor Newsom has ordered all 40 million residents to stay home and all non-essential businesses to close their doors, but all seven Planned Parenthood affiliates in the state — which operate about 100 clinics in total — remain open.
Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest declares on its site: “We are accepting new appointments for essential services only, including birth control and abortion.”
Abortionist Daniel Grossman tweeted: “Abortion is NOT an elective medical procedure. It’s essential healthcare and must be available during the pandemic. It can’t be delayed. Patients can’t wait until an undetermined later date to get an abortion. We need to make access available throughout the pandemic.”
Clearly, at this time of widespread contagious disease, Planned Parenthood believes the first thing to worry about is whether women can still dispense with their unwanted children.
As Americans lose their jobs, and as doctors and nurses struggle to find the supplies they need and work around the clock to keep COVID-19 patients alive, Planned Parenthood is busy advertising that their doors are still open to end unborn human lives.
This is an organization that is funded by our taxpayer dollars to the tune of $616.8 million. You would think they would take measures to protect the people who fund them, but even in a time like this, Planned Parenthood reveals just how committed to abortion— and committed to profit— it is.
We urge you to send an email to your governor today and ask him or her to shut down all abortion facilities to stop the spread of coronavirus: https://studentsforlife.quorum.us/campaign/25304/