New York AG calls on states not to restrict abortion access amid pandemic

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New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) on Thursday called on federal and local officials to ensure women continue to have access to safe abortion procedures amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“To be clear, the coronavirus is not an excuse for federal, state, or local governments to curtail women’s reproductive freedoms or limit their choices. Any woman who wants to go into a doctor’s office or into a clinic today and get an abortion should continue to be able to do so,” James said in a statement.

“And for those who do not feel comfortable leaving their homes as we battle COVID-19, we are fighting to maintain women’s access to abortion and the abortion pill so that their reproductive choices are not limited,” she added.

With the pandemic curtailing elective procedures in many health care systems, officials in states including Mississippi, Ohio and Texas have argued that abortion should be considered an elective procedure. As such, they say it should be halted to free up personal protective equipment for personnel treating coronavirus cases.

“The truth is abortion, for the most part, is an elective procedure that can be done later,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) said Wednesday during a live interview on Facebook with a conservative advocacy group.

James argued that steps to limit abortions because of the coronavirus are politically motivated efforts to deny women the right to have an abortion.

“The restrictions we are seeing be put into place are simply aimed at controlling women’s bodies, women’s choices, and women’s freedom, and I will do everything in my power to stop this attack on a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion,” James said in the statement.

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