Letter to the Editor: Abortion not elective
The Ohio Department of Health decided in March that abortion services would be considered elective surgeries. The Attorney General’s office was then directed to shut down operations, “in order to preserve vital PPE” for the duration of the pandemic. For any woman facing an unwanted pregnancy, having reproductive choice is a time-sensitive emergency that is far from frivolously elective. To delay care, given her circumstances, is to deny care.
Thankfully, U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett overturned [on March 30] the definition of abortion as an elective procedure. He imposed a temporary restraining order for two weeks, saying in his ruling that a woman’s doctor, not the state, should decide whether her abortion was nonessential. That two weeks will be up soon.
During this pandemic crisis, I ask Ohio’s officials to drop any exercise of partisanship. This is not the time for anti-abortion rights activists to dictate public health policy, when so many women’s lives, and the lives of their families, hang in the balance. Gov. Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton, the state’s health director, have done a terrific job of keeping us safe and informed. It’s clear they are trying to save as many lives as possible. In that spirit, please allow women their voices and their decisions about what they need to save their lives. Women should have the option of a safe choice.