GATES: Will the Governor shut down Shreveport abortion clinic while coronavirus rages?

UPDATED (15:30 03/30/2020) – Rep. Gabe Firment (R-Pollock) fired off a letter to LDH today over this issue:

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UPDATED (12:23 03/30/2020) – As if to prove our point, this truck rolled up to the June Medical Services clinic at 11:45 a.m.

Alsco Truck

Alsco provides healthcare rental services including scrubs, linens, etc.

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ORIGINAL STORY:

As many of you know, the Louisiana Department of Health issued an order to medical providers in Louisiana to cease all non-emergency surgery.  Emergency medical condition is defined by the order “as a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including pain, psychiatric disturbances and/or symptoms of substance abuse) such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in:
(a) Placing the health of the individual (or, with respect to a pregnant woman, the health of the woman or her unborn child) in serious jeopardy;
(b) Serious impairment of bodily functions; or
(c) Serious dysfunction of bodily organs.”

Why such an order from the State? So we don’t use precious medical resources (like gloves and masks) on procedures that can wait until after the coronavirus pandemic has run its course.

As it turns out, though, one Louisiana abortion clinic is defying the Governor’s orders.  June Medical Services (doing business as Hope Medical) up in Shreveport (of recent U.S. Supreme Court case fame) continues to operate.  And we doubt they’re treating the coronavirus.

Video supplied to us, and subsequently posted on Louisiana Right to Life’s Facebook Page, shows what appears to be a couple entering the clinic this morning.  According to our sources on the ground, 8 women entered the clinic in the last 35 minutes while photos taken this morning show approximately 8 vehicles in the parking lot.

And June Medical/Hope Medical is not shy about it. Live Action caught them saying they are now doing abortions for all of Louisiana and Texas:

Attorney General Jeff Landry is none too happy.  According to a press release from his office last week, Landry noted, “Not only should June Medical and all of Louisiana’s abortion providers comply with the public safety order, but they should also follow the generous lead of other medical facilities and donate their supplies to local hospitals who are in desperate need.”

A week ago, the site Rewire reached out to LDH on the issue of June Medical Services operating, despite the order from LDH to cease all non-emergency procedures.  LDH gave its usual goobered-up, double-talk response:

In a March 24 email to Rewire.News, a spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Health said the state had not prohibited any specific health procedures as part of its COVID-19 response. Kelly Zimmerman, a spokesperson for the state health department, told Rewire.News that doctors would “have to use their medical judgment to determine what is and what isn’t an emergency medical procedure.”

“Louisiana has not issued guidance or directives to any specific medical field,” Zimmerman said. “The Louisiana Department of Health has, in an attempt to conserve our limited hospital bed space and personal protective equipment, issued an emergency rule requiring any and all medical and surgical procedures to be postponed.  However, medical and surgical treatments necessary to treat an emergency medical condition are still allowed.”

In non-goober talk, that means “yes, they’re not supposed to be doing this, and no, we don’t intend to do anything about it.”

Sources tell us that the other two abortion clinics in Louisiana recognize the authority of LDH and have ceased abortions during the pendency of that order.

You can’t go to the dentist and get a tooth pulled or go to the salon and get a haircut, but, in Shreveport, you can get an abortion.  And we wonder why we lag behind other states.

The question becomes, will Gov. Edwards, who appears to be very concerned about coronavirus in Louisiana, enforce his Department of Health’s order to stop the non-emergency procedures?  We wouldn’t hold our breath.  He seems more concerned with playing to the television cameras than actually putting his money where his mouth is.

 



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