Human Rights Watch

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Ohio, Texas Use COVID-19 to Stop Abortions

Abortion Access an Essential Component of Health Care

Friday 27 March 2020


Officials in the US states of Ohio and Texas are using the coronavirus as a politically expedient excuse to halt abortions – a move that threatens women’s and girls’ health and rights. On March 20, the Ohio Attorney General’s office reportedly ordered clinics that provide abortions to stop “non-essential” and “elective” surgical abortions. Earlier in the week, the Ohio Department of Health issued a directive to stop nonessential surgeries, to save the protective equipment healthcare professionals needed to care for COVID-19 patients. The directive never mentioned abortion services. Ohio’s abortion clinics are fighting back, and Planned Parenthood’s Ohio affiliates are keeping their doors open for this procedure. In Texas, the governor confirmed that an order to halt non-essential surgeries would include most abortions.

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