Planned Parenthood sues TX Gov. Abbott over order to stop elective abortions during coronavirus

FoxNews reports Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), along with other pro-choice groups, filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton and several other state officials over a temporary ban on elective abortion during the coronavirus pandemic.

The ban was issued as part of an executive order by Abbott aimed at conserving medical equipment and the capacity of the health care system after warnings from health care professionals that patients sick with the coronavirus might overwhelm hospital capacity and deplete supplies, such as personal protective equipment for doctors and nurses.

Pro-choice activists say the ban was issued in bad faith and limits access to an “essential” procedure.

“Gov. Abbott and anti-abortion activists nationwide are forcing a legal and political fight in the middle of a public health crisis,” PPFA acting president and CEO Alexis McGill-Johnson said. “Elected leaders are expending valuable time and resources exploiting a global pandemic to score political points instead of rallying to respond to this crisis.”

Nancy Northrop, the president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement that even a temporary ban on abortion would harm women in Texas.

“Abortion care is time-sensitive and essential health care that has a profound impact on a person’s health and life, which is why it is protected as a constitutional right. Texas is abusing the state’s emergency powers and we are filing suit today to stop it,” she said.

Paxton, however, countered that it is abortion providers who are acting in bad faith and putting the lives of Texans at risk.

“It is unconscionable that abortion providers are fighting against the health of Texans and withholding desperately needed supplies and personal protective equipment in favor of a procedure that they refer to as a ‘choice,'” he tweeted Wednesday night. “My office will tirelessly defend Governor Abbott’s Order to ensure that necessary supplies reach the medical professionals combating this national health crisis.”

Paxton’s interpretation of the governor’s order would only allow abortions “medically necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.”

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