Is abortion an essential surgery? Decisions to halt elective procedures spark debate

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nexstar) — Texas is immediately halting all elective surgeries — including abortions.

Heidi Sieck with VOTEPROCHOICE says the Texas decision takes away women’s Constitutional rights.

“Abortion is a time-sensitive treatment and it must be made available,” says Sieck. “It is absolutely essential.”

But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says all of the state’s medical supplies need to be used to fight the coronavirus — which means all non-life saving surgeries can wait.

“Telling people they need to stay home and stay pregnant. That’s unacceptable,” says Sieck.

Kansas Republican Congressman and obstetrician, Dr. Roger Marshall, says medical supplies needed for an abortion procedure are more urgently needed to fight the coronavirus.

“I never saw an abortion that needed to be done to save a mom’s life,” says Marshall.

Paxton says any medical provider who doesn’t comply with the statewide order will be fined or face jail time.

Sieck says politicians are using the coronavirus crisis to gain political points, but Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn says that’s not the case.

“This is not about abortion,” says Cornyn. “Unfortunately, this ends up being the way that these things get debated around here. We can have all those debates later. We need to put out the fire now — and the fire is the COVID-19 virus.”

Ohio also ordered the suspension of abortion services. Both states say the order will remain in effect until the end of April.

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