Leave it to The New York Times editorial board to use the current national crisis to call for “greater access” to abortion. In fact, they say the crisis has “underscored” this need. In a Sunday editorial, the Times points out that several states have deemed abortion a nonessential service and have “pushed to close abortion clinics or severely curtail access.” The editors write:
The “nonessential” bit is obvious nonsense and the delay a transparent attempt to put abortion out of reach for those who need it. As several major health care groups noted in a joint statement last week: “Abortion is an essential component of comprehensive health care. It is also a time-sensitive service for which a delay of several weeks, or in some cases days, may increase the risks or potentially make it completely inaccessible. The consequences of being unable to obtain an abortion profoundly impact a person’s life, health and well-being.”
The editors opine that “state leaders know that once an abortion clinic closes for any significant period, it becomes difficult to reopen.” I would argue the same holds true for any business. And now that millions of businesses across America, large and small, have been forced to close indefinitely, affecting the livelihoods of countless millions of Americans, it’s not too much to ask that abortion clinics be closed as well.
In light of the forced closing of abortion clinics in some states, the op-ed calls for greater access to alternatives such as mifepristone, an abortion-inducing drug, which they say could be mailed to the patient. They also suggest that political and regulatory obstacles must be removed “to make widespread at-home access to reproductive health care possible.”
Given the coronavirus pandemic, it is incumbent on the F.D.A. to relax its regulation on mifepristone, at least temporarily. Doing so would allow many women to get a prescription for abortion-inducing drugs from a doctor via telemedicine, at which point the medications could be mailed to the patient. Unfortunately, 18 states effectively ban abortion care via telemedicine — measures that also ought to be lifted, at least for the time being.
Finally, the editors call for the end of the Hyde Amendment which prohibits the use of government funding for abortions.
It’s long past time to end America’s ban on government funding for abortions, like the federal Hyde Amendment and similar state measures. These bans mean that poor women already struggle to afford reproductive health care — an issue that’s sure to be exacerbated during the coronavirus crisis and the economic fallout from it.
Just as Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats sought to use the Coronavirus Stimulus bill as cover to pass parts of their beloved Green New Deal, The New York Times editorial board is trying to use the crisis to eliminate unrelated legislation such as the Hyde Amendment. During a conference call with the Democratic Caucus prior to the bill’s passage, Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) was quoted as saying, “This is a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.” Rahm Emanuel taught them well.
How about no, Scott.
Author: Elizabeth Vaughn