“Abortion does not involve saving the actual life of a patient or treating a patient with coronavirus,” said Joe Pojman, executive director of the Texas Alliance for Life. “Providers needed to be reminded that they are not above the law . . . and they need to come in with the crisis that Texas is facing.”
The anti-abortion group Texas Alliance for Life also tweeted Sunday that the executive order applies to abortions.
Under the executive order meant to increase hospital capacity to combat the novel coronavirus’ spread, physicians will have the discretion to suspend procedures that aren’t immediately medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition or to preserve the life of a patient, Abbott said Sunday.
Texas Alliance for Life also noted the order on social media, asking anyone aware of violations of the order to send documentation to them.
Following Abbott’s executive order, it remained unclear if abortions would need to be postponed, given the exemption in the order for non-essential procedures provided that they “would not deplete the hospital capacity or the personal protective equipment needed to cope with the COVID-19 disaster.”
Mark Lee Dickson, the director of Right to Life of East Texas, said the rules are “a preventative measure since we don’t want abortion tourism happening in our towns.” Some pro-life leaders see potential problems with the sanctuary city measures. Joe Pojman with Texas Alliance for Life said the ordinances invite pushback from pro-abortion groups and, while Roe v. Wade remains in place, will not stand up to lawsuits like this one from the ACLU. —L.H.
The strategy of bringing the abortion fight to the local level has divided even the staunchest anti-abortion activists. Some groups, including the Texas Alliance for Life, have warned against taking an inflammatory approach that is unlikely to survive a legal contest and could set the anti-abortion movement back in court.
Joe Pojman, director of the Texas Alliance for Life, cautioned that the ordinances could invite lawsuits that will not stand unless the high court overturns Roe. He noted the spread of sanctuary cities for the unborn stands to “embolden opponents of pro-life laws” during an election year: “We need to stay focused on ensuring Roe v. Wade is overturned. … The most astute political observers agree that Texas is in play.”