An Ohio abortion clinic is refusing to cease abortions during the coronavirus pandemic despite an order from the Ohio Department of Health.
Preterm employee Fiona Thomas confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation on Monday morning that the clinic will not stop performing abortions, despite a Wednesday order from the Ohio Department of Health mandating that all non-essential and elective surgeries cease in order to preserve Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers.
This was followed by a Friday letter from Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost ordering two specific Ohio abortion clinics to stop providing any services that require PPE, which can include respirators, eye protection, hearing protection, protective clothing, gas masks, gloves, overalls, boots and goggles, according to the CDC.
“WE ARE OPEN,” Preterm stated on its website. “Abortion is legal in Ohio, and Preterm is still here providing the nonjudgmental care you need.”
“Preterm is continuing to provide the full range of abortion care services because it is essential healthcare,” Executive Director of Preterm Chrisse France told the DCNF in a statement. (RELATED: ‘COMPLETE AND UTTER BULL****’: Abortion Supporters Furious After Ohio Shuts Down ‘Nonessential’ Abortion Providers)
France added: “In compliance with the order from the Ohio Department of Health, our physicians will be making individualized determinations to ensure each person gets the healthcare they need and that all healthcare providers across the state have access to the supplies needed during this pandemic.”
Preterm declined to comment on how Preterm can be in compliance with ODH’s order to cease all non-essential and elective surgeries that use PPE if the clinic continues to perform abortions.
Preterm is still open and seeing patients for abortion care! #AbortionCare is essential, time-sensitive care & should be treated as such. (thread)
— Abortion is still legal in Ohio (@PretermCLE) March 20, 2020
It is unclear whether the Ohio Department of Health will pursue legal action against Preterm. AG Communications Director Bethany McCorkle told the DCNF that it is up to the ODH to determine whether ODH Director Amy Acton’s order was violated by any surgical facilities in Ohio.
If Acton’s office determines that the order was violated, “they can refer it to our office to pursue legal action on behalf of the Ohio Department of Health,” McCorkle said. “At this time no referrals have been made by the Ohio Department of Health.”
The spokeswoman added that the attorney general agrees with Acton that “we can’t allow the politics of things to get in the way of what we need to do in a state of emergency.”
“Dr. Amy Acton’s order was never to shut down operations,” McCorkle said. “It was to stop performing nonessential surgeries that use PPE. They can stay open because they perform other services.”
The Ohio Department of Health did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the DCNF.
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