Michigan anti-abortion groups call on Governor Whitmer to ban abortions during coronavirus stay-at-home order
Michigan anti-abortion groups are calling on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to declare abortion procedures “non-essential” under the state’s stay-at-home order to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
Right to Life of Michigan and the Michigan Heartbeat Coalition on Wednesday called on Whitmer, a Democrat who supports the right to abortion, to classify abortions as an elective procedure under the state executive order banning most work in person during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some Republican-led states have asked abortion providers to shut down, citing stay-at-home orders. In Ohio, the attorney general’s office has sent letters to abortion clinics ordering them to “immediately stop performing non-essential and elective surgical abortions.”
Kelly Rossman-McKinney, spokesperson for Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, said in Michigan: “We will not dictate the services doctors choose to provide and we will not interfere with the doctor / patient relationship. “
Related: Ohio Attorney General sends letters to 2 abortion clinics, telling them to stop all non-essential procedures
Whitmer’s stay-at-home order includes exemptions for health care providers and allows individuals to leave their homes to obtain medication “or to obtain medical or dental treatment necessary to deal with a medical emergency or to preserve the health and safety of a household or a family member.
Michigan anti-abortion groups argued that Wednesday’s abortion procedures should not be included in this definition, noting that abortion procedures require personal protective equipment and close contact between patients and staff could be contributing to the spread of COVID-19.
“We are seeing a model of pro-abortion elected officials putting ideology first and people at risk for coronavirus second,” said Right to Life of Michigan president Barbara Listing.
“Why should abortion centers be above the law? She continued later.
Michigan Heartbeat Coalition Chairman Corey Shankleton said abortions are not necessary to maintain or protect human life: “Elective procedures were banned by Governor Whitmer and this must apply to abortions.
Planned Parenthood locations in Michigan are in compliance with Whitmer’s Executive Order and have been implementing additional precautions for weeks, including screening staff and patients for symptoms of the coronavirus, reprogramming those who are symptomatic or have been exposed and mandatory social distancing for staff and patients in waiting rooms, said Angela Vasquez-Giroux, director of communications for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan.
The governor’s orders were clear on what is considered essential – pregnancy care is essential, ”Vasquez-Giroux said. “We continue to give our patients the care they depend on us for. ”
In response to a request from the Ohio Attorney General, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region said on twitter Abortion is “an essential and urgent medical procedure” that must remain available during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Delays or additional barriers to care can make it more difficult, if not impossible, for patients to access a legal and safe abortion,” the tweet said.
In addition to washing your hands regularly and not touching your face, authorities recommend practicing social distancing, assuming anyone can carry the virus. Health officials say you should stay at least 6 feet from others and work from home, if possible. Take hand sanitizer with you and use sanitizing wipes or sanitizing spray cleaners on frequently touched surfaces in your home (doorknobs, faucets, counters) and when going to places like stores.
Comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus in Michigan.
Detroit hospital system nearing capacity
How to report non-essential businesses still in operation
Oakland County, Michigan urges companies to screen essential personnel daily for symptoms of coronavirus
All Michigan residents, most businesses ordered to stay at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus
Read the full stay-at-home order from Governor of Michigan Whitmer
What’s open, what’s closed under the Whitmer government’s stay-at-home order against coronavirus