Statement by NOW President Toni Van Pelt:
Washington, D.C. — Governors have just one job that matters today—to keep their citizens safe, healthy and protected from the coronavirus. But anti-abortion politicians like Texas Governor Greg Abbott, as well as Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, are using the pandemic as an excuse to fuel their personal vendetta against abortion care.
They issued bans on abortion, labeling the procedure as “non-essential.” This would force patients to delay this urgent and time-sensitive care or require them to travel hundreds of miles to another state—which travel bans may make impossible as well.
On Monday, federal judges in Texas, Alabama, and Ohio blocked the governors’ brazenly political actions, but the next day the Texas 5th Circuit Court of Appeals put a hold on that order, allowing Gov. Abbott to proceed with his unconstitutional, cruel and dangerous executive action.
And talk about hypocrisy! While Gov. Abbot pretends to care about protecting health and safety by limiting women’s freedom, he refuses to tell churches to shut their doors during the crisis.
Women already bear the brunt of this pandemic— homeschooling children, caring for sick relatives, working essential but often low-wage jobs and making up the majority of health care workers. For women stuck at home with an abusive partner, the risks of being forced to continue a pregnancy are even higher. These bans must not stand.
NOW condemns the Texas court’s actions and supports efforts to overturn it on appeal. In the meantime, we are continuing to defend women’s constitutional right to abortion care. This is no time to play politics with women’s health.
Kimberly Hayes, Press Secretary, email@example.com,