AUSTIN — A new executive order (GA-15) issued by Governor Greg Abbott took effect at midnight, extending the ban on elective medical procedures, including abortions, to May 8. The order begins in the middle of an ongoing legal battle launched by the abortion industry over the March 22 order. Most recently, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that Texas may enforce the first order to stop up to 98.5% of elective abortions in the state. However, the abortion industry is now asserting that they are exempt from the new order and may continue with business as usual despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In the new order Governor Abbott specifically loosened restrictions on surgical procedures and diagnostic tests to serve “those who may have serious illnesses.” By doing so, he clarified that abortions are “not part of this [new] order,” indicating that the current ban on 98.5% of elective abortions in the state of Texas will continue until the new May 8 deadline, pending court action.
The new order is designed to allow hospitals to continue some necessary medical interventions if they have capacity to care for coronavirus and non-coronavirus patients. The order instructs health facilities to certify that they will reserve 25% of their hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients, while not requesting personal protective equipment (PPE) from government sources.
In an appalling move, the abortion industry is claiming they deserve to be included under the order’s exceptions, although the mills profit off the deaths of tens of thousands of human lives each year. On April 18, Texas abortion clinics successfully petitioned pro-abortion Federal District Judge Lee Yeakel for a preliminary injunction, claiming they “believe that they meet this exception, and therefore that [the new] Executive Order GA-15 has no application to them.” Texas abortion clinics have opposed every health and safety rule ever applied to them, including now during a global pandemic, and this latest executive order is no different.
PPE is to be reserved for life-saving procedures, and abortion is neither life-saving, nor an essential service. Abortion does, however, consume scarce PPE and other medical resources during this public health crisis. Both of the governor’s executive orders were issued to conserve vital resources for the purpose of protecting and saving lives; the industry of death should be the last to receive an exception to this rule.
Texas Right to Life will continue to post updates about the legal battle the abortion industry is waging in the midst of this public health emergency. Visit TexasRightToLife.com to stay up to date with the latest developments.