Louisiana senator calls for abortion clinics to close amid coronavirus crisis

Louisiana senator calls for abortion clinics to close amid coronavirus crisis
© Greg Nash

Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) called for abortion clinics to close Monday so that their medical supplies can be redirected to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The Louisiana senator requested public officials shut down these clinics across the country and within his state as most states have implemented a stay-at-home order for nonessential businesses. He classified abortions as “elective” in a statement.

“Doctors and nurses are in the trenches fighting the coronavirus, and we’re in a zero-sum reality when it comes to life-saving medical supplies,” he said 

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“Abortions are elective, deadly and wrong—especially when they siphon masks, gloves and cleaning supplies away from the front lines of a pandemic,” Kennedy added. “I urge elected officials everywhere to recognize that abortions are in no way an essential service.”

Conservative states across the country have argued against abortion being an essential procedure, leading Planned Parenthood and the Americans Civil Liberties Union to file lawsuits against four states that issued abortion restrictions during the pandemic.

Judges blocked efforts to ban abortion in Texas, Ohio and Alabama last week, but a federal appeals court in Texas permitted the temporary ban on abortions amid the crisis. 

In the meantime, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) has warned that the state is running low on medical supplies and expects to reach its ventilator capacity this week. 

Louisiana has the fifth most cases out of any state in the U.S., reaching more than 13,000, according to The New York Times’s count. The state has recorded 477 deaths, the fourth most of any state.