As of yesterday, Louisiana was still performing abortions at clinics in Baton Rouge and Shreveport. This continued to go on, while “non-essential” businesses remained shut down per the orders of Governor John Bel Edwards, a supposed pro-life governor.
“Medical facilities are not required to be closed under the governor’s order. In an effort to preserve PPE, on March 22, LDH issued an order to all licensed medical facilities requiring them to postpone all medical and surgical procedures that are non-emergent and further provides guidelines for emergency situations. Many facilities that only perform non-emergent medical and surgical procedures have opted to close because procedures are not being conducted. To the extent a medical facility offers medical consultation and treatment that are not medical and surgical procedures, their operation is not prohibited under LDH’s order.”
As the article’s writer Scott McKay says, it would seem this statement is saying either an abortion is considered an “emergency” surgery, or an abortion is not a surgical procedure.
For weeks now, our “pro-life” governor has done nothing to close these slaughterhouses amidst the obvious health turmoil raging across the country.
As this story shows, there are abortion interns showing up to “work” in filthy scrubs, bringing in contamination from the outside. Meanwhile, police threaten to remove a pro-life activist outside the clinic, an activist who had a mask on and was practicing social distancing.
Allowing abortion clinics to remain open has raised valid questions concerning Gov Edwards handling of this situation, on whether his mandates are motivated by health or politics.
Louisiana Congressman Dr Ralph Abraham had this to say:
The people of Louisiana are sacrificing their freedom and economic well-being to stay home and slow the spread of COVID-19, but abortion clinics in Shreveport and Baton Rouge are conducting business as usual. President Trump has recommended, and the state of Louisiana has implemented, a policy of social distancing to reduce the risk of exposure, but they refuse to stop performing these nonessential procedures. As a doctor and a member of Congress, I am outraged by this flagrant disregard for public health and I believe they should close immediately.
While Edwards did nothing even into late this week, the Louisiana Department of Health was ascertaining possible violations, examining several Louisiana facilities. Attorney General Jeff Landry then employed a task force to assist the LDH in enforcement efforts.
“LDH and Interim Secretary Russo have requested our assistance with enforcing their important public health orders, such as those requiring the suspension of elective, non-emergency medical procedures,” said Landry.
Finally, Edwards then joined the party, holding a press conference with Landry on Thursday.
“We are trying to ascertain now whether any of these clinics are in violation of the orders that have been issued by the Louisiana Department of Health that stop non-emergency medical procedures in order to try to conserve PPE that could be used in the fight against COVID,” Edwards said.
The LDH notice applies equally to all licensed medical facilities and medical professionals under its authority. It orders the immediate suspension of all elective medical procedures and surgeries that are not necessary either to treat an emergency medical condition, or to prevent further immediate harm to a patient.
When asked if he thought abortions were in fact “elective,” our pro-life governor said it depends on the circumstances, but did not provide further explanation.
All of this of course follows the guidance from the top, the U.S. Center for Disease Control, regarding elective surgeries in this crucial time. It is similar to orders issued by state health departments across the country. In fact, a federal three-judge appeals panel just this week ruled that the Texas ban on abortions will remain in effect during the coronavirus pandemic.
So finally, it appears as if officials’ health concerns are matching up with reality, at least in relation to abortion clinics. The state of Louisiana, with a pro-life governor, should not have needed to crawl before it walked on this one, but it is good to know it is finally getting in step.
Writer Jeff LeJeune has an M.A. in English, is a high school and college instructor, and is a former college athlete. In addition to his writing work for The Hayride, he is a ghostwriter, editor, and novelist. His website is www.jefflejeune.net.