The entire country is in the midst of a public health crisis not seen in modern times. That fact hasn’t stopped the GOP from being the GOP. In fact, they saw fit to fully take advantage of the situation.
CNN reports that Ohio, Mississippi and Texas have listed abortions as non-essential surgery. They defended this position by saying it’s to ration out supplies as hospitals across the country face shortages. In Texas, if hospitals don’t follow these orders they could face a $1,000 fine or 180 days in prison. These three states all have introduced bills in the last year to heavily restrict access to abortion. Both Mississippi and Ohio introduced heartbeat bills that would have prevented women from having abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy
Anti-abortion activists have decried the move as capitalizing on the current crisis to push anti-abortion policies. This move was made even after hearing pleas to not classify abortion and women’s health practices as non-essential.
the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists put out a statement calling for providers not to classify them as “elective and non-urgent,” arguing that abortion is “a time-sensitive service for which a delay of several weeks, or in some cases days, may increase the risks or potentially make it completely inaccessible.”
I understand that we’re in a crisis situation and decisions have to be made, but this feels particularly exploitative, especially in the case of Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves. He’s dragged his heels on issuing any kind of stay at home order and instead seems content on praying the virus away. If he was that concerned about the impact the virus would have on his state he’d be issuing a lockdown, not focusing on who’s getting an abortion.
The hope was that a time of crisis would result in a bipartisan effort by our elected officials to try and mitigate the damage. Instead, they’ve used it as an opportunity to further the bullshit.