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MCCL urges state to apply elective surgery postponement to abortion centers

ST. PAUL — Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) is urging Gov. Tim Walz and Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm to clarify that the governor's order postponing all elective surgeries and procedures in Minnesota applies to the practice of elective abortion.

"Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities continue to use much-needed medical resources for their own elective abortions rather than to help meet the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic," says MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. "Abortion centers should follow the same rules as everyone else. We are all in this together."

Gov. Walz's order, Emergency Executive Order 20-09, follows recommendations from the CDC and other medical authorities that aim to minimize transmission of the coronavirus and conserve medical resources. The order states that "all non-essential or elective surgeries and procedures … that utilize PPE [personal protective equipment] or ventilators must be postponed indefinitely." Elective procedures, the order says, "can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of a patient." Examples of such a risk include "threat to the patient's life" and "threat of permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system." (The vast majority of abortions, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Health, do not involve such cases.)

Emergency Executive Order 20-09 makes no exception for abortion. Yet even after the order went into effect on Monday night, elective abortions were being performed in Minnesota, and these abortions require the use of personal protective equipment.

"A growing number of states—Ohio, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Maryland—have already taken action to make clear that policies postponing elective procedures apply to elective abortion," Fischbach says. "Minnesota should be next. There is no medical justification for singling out abortion for special treatment at the expense of patient safety and the safety of those dealing with this crisis. Public health, not an ideological commitment to unfettered abortion, must come first."

Minnesotans can contact the governor's office, the health commissioner, or the health department to urge that the COVID-19 policy be properly applied to abortion centers.


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