Abortion Care Is Health Care and Essential During COVID-19 Pandemic

Affiliate: ACLU of Kentucky
March 27, 2020 4:30 pm

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FRANKFORT, Ky. — The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky (ACLU-KY) and Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) condemn Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s attempt to institute an abortion ban by requesting Cabinet for Health and Family Services Acting Secretary Eric Friedlander to certify that Kentucky’s abortion providers are violating a ban on elective medical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing to perform abortions.

Statement from Heather Gatnarek, ACLU of Kentucky staff attorney:

“It is outrageous that Attorney General Cameron and Kentucky politicians are trying to take advantage of a public health crisis to push their anti-abortion agenda. As trusted health organizations like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have made clear, politicians should not push ‘COVID-19 responses that cancel or delay abortion procedures.’ These national medical experts further explained that ‘abortion is an essential component of comprehensive health care. It is also 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.’ Everyone’s situation is different and it is critical that people be able to make their own decisions about continuing or ending a pregnancy, in consultation with their loved ones and their health providers. These politicians should listen to medical experts and stop playing politics with Kentuckians’ health.

“EMW’s top priority is their patients’ safety and care. During this unprecedented time, EMW is following all guidance from public health experts to ensure that patients’ risk of coming into contact with COVID-19 are minimized, including instituting measures that allow for social distancing and screening patients for common COVID-19 symptoms prior to their receiving care.”

Statement from Chris Charbonneau, CEO Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky:

“Our doors remain open for care. Denying or delaying health care places an immediate burden on patients, their families, our communities, and the health system, and can have profound and lasting consequences. Abortion is an essential, time-sensitive medical procedure, as medical experts like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology have recognized.

“Reproductive health providers are committed to the health of their communities. What matters most, even in a pandemic, is that providers are able to provide essential health care without barriers, while also flattening the curve in the community.”

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