Statement by NOW President Toni Van Pelt
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Anti-abortion extremists are using the COVID-19 pandemic to accomplish what they can’t get done in the courts—a total ban on abortion care. More than 50 anti-abortion groups have written to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar calling on public health officials to tell abortion providers to cease and desist operations during this crisis.
Texas is ground zero for this frightening display of politics and religious extremism over health care and women’s rights. Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton have issued a directive to ban nearly all abortion services that they arbitrarily and ignorantly deem “unnecessary.” As a result, hundreds of patients seeking critical care are facing cancellations and delays that can put their health and safety at risk.
National NOW and Texas NOW are encouraging our members in the state to call the offices of the governor and attorney general in protest of this gross abuse of citizens’ rights. NOW also strongly supports a lawsuit filed by Texas abortion providers to ensure that patients can continue to access their constitutional right to essential, time-sensitive abortion services during the COVID-19 epidemic. As our nation faces the most serious medical crisis in over a century, now is the time to expand health care access, not take it away.
Kimberly Hayes, Press Secretary , email@example.com , 202-570-4745