By Sarah Zagorski
On Wednesday, the Louisiana Department of Health strongly recommended that all elective medical procedures be postponed for 30 days as it works with healthcare providers to address the needs of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
Many offices that offer services like dermatology, dentistry and opthamology, for instance, have closed their doors, as have some regular medical clinics so that staff can be redeployed to other locations to care for the onslaught of patients.
The department’s guideline says that, if in the “medical opinion and judgment of the physician” the procedure can be “safely postponed for a period of 30 days, it SHALL be postponed for 30 days.” The recommendation followed urging from U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams to cancel all elective surgery nationwide to stop the spread of the virus among healthcare employees.
Yet the question still remains if this clear directive will be enough for the three for-profit abortion facilities in the state to voluntarily take the safe route and close their doors. The three abortion facilities are Women’s Health Care Center in New Orleans, Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge and Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport.
Abortion certainly qualifies as an elective medical procedure because pregnancy is not a disease, not life threatening barring an emergency, and even in those rare cases, many in the medical community agree that a physician can choose to deliver the baby early rather than deliberately kill the child to save the life of the mother. Regardless, emergencies like that will be addressed in a hospital, not an abortion facility, which does not have the necessary equipment and training to handle situations of that sort.
Unfortunately, abortion proponents are already arguing that abortion is always “essential healthcare” because delaying the procedure could push women past the legal limit. They completely negate the fact that there are plenty of public and private agencies willing to support adoption and parenting options, not to mention postponing abortion never threathens the lives of women. If anything, postponing abortion gives the mother more time to consider her other options before making the irreversible and often regrettable decision to end the life of her unborn child.
Pro-lifers on the ground in Baton Rouge are currently reporting activity at Delta; the New Orleans’ abortion facility is operating with limited hours but is reportedly “very busy”; and as far we know Shreveport’s abortion facility is open for business. It even appears that Hope Medical Group for Women may be performing more abortions in the coming days to offset limited abortion operations elsewhere in the state.
Shouldn’t these clinicians who go to work every day to end lives be setting their abortion business aside given the state’s health emergency? While increasing our medical surge capacity is Louisiana’s top priority, the abortion industry has prioritized its profits over the health and safety of women. In doing so, it has jeopardized the health of all Louisianians.
COVID-19 is becoming increasingly serious in our state. This is evident partly by statewide school closures, hospitals closing their emergency rooms, homeless citizens relocating to state parks following virus exposure and Gov. John Bel Edwards’ repeated warnings that COVID-19 could overwhelm our healthcare capacity in as little as seven days. It is imperative that all healthcare workers, including abortion “doctors,” decide now to put patients first and work with health professionals to save lives.
At Louisiana Right to Life, we look forward to the day when our state is forever abortion free so that both unborn babies and their mothers can be spared from the destruction of abortion. But until then the priority for every medical care worker needs to be COVID-19. Abortion facilities should heed state and federal guidelines and close their doors until the coronavirus pandemic has passed. Anything less, and they endanger the lives of all Louisianians.