The acting CEO of Planned Parenthood said governors who have banned elective abortions to preserve medical equipment for healthcare workers treating COVID-19 are using the pandemic to push an anti-abortion political agenda.
Alexis McGill Johnson told Vanity Fair in an interview published Friday that these governors “are the same politicians that have been eroding public-health infrastructure for decades,” by not supporting Obamacare:
These are the same folks who refuse to expand Medicaid. These are the same folks who supported forcing organizations like Planned Parenthood out of Title X. You have to connect the dots here. This is a moment where the pandemic is being used as cover to really push a horrible political agenda around abortion.
Politicians have been trying to ban abortion and attack our reproductive rights for decades. Now, they see #COVID19 as an opening to push the same political agenda they have been for years.
— Alexis McGill Johnson (@alexismcgill) April 3, 2020
Planned Parenthood has filed lawsuits against states such as Ohio, Texas, Iowa, and Oklahoma that have banned all non-essential surgeries as a means to save personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospital workers caring for patients infected with the coronavirus.
McGill Johnson insists abortion is an “essential” service that is being targeted:
I think what’s really important here to understand is that there is no other form of health care that’s being targeted in this way, only abortion. When we see these bans, these specific attacks on abortion providers, it’s really important to look at it in a context of how other health care providers are being treated. And you can see that we’re being singled out.
Dr. Christina Francis, however, explained to Breitbart News that McGill Johnson is speaking as an “activist” and not a true “healthcare provider.” The chair of the board of the American Association of Prolife OB/GYN’s (AAPLOG) said the claim that abortion providers are being singled out is false:
Elective surgeries and procedures across the country are being postponed indefinitely – and this even includes some surgeries for cancer, joint replacements in people living with debilitating pain, life transforming reconstructive surgeries, and the list goes on and on. Yet Ms. Johnson dares to assert that an elective procedure that ends the life of one human being and harms the other is more essential than these (not to mention the fact that women are being packed into Planned Parenthood waiting rooms in direct defiance of social distancing orders)? In doing so, she shows her true priority – the financial health of Planned Parenthood over the physical and mental health of its clients.
McGill Johnson often looks to the pro-abortion rights American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to support her claims.
The group joined other organizations that promote abortion rights in a statement in mid-March:
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.
However, Dr. Ingrid Skop, a practicing OB/GYN for nearly 24 years and an AAPLOG board member, explained to Breitbart News that while ACOG leadership “supports elective abortion for its socioeconomic effects,” its views do not represent those of its membership.
“They have never polled their membership on their views on abortion advocacy, and only 7-14% of OB/GYNs say they would perform an abortion when requested by their patient,” she stated, adding:
Elective abortion is a procedure that ends the life of a healthy, living human being in utero. It has never been proven to benefit a woman’s health in any way, which is the goal of health care.
McGill Johnson told Vanity Fair governors who are banning abortions during the coronavirus crisis are “using the pandemic and the banning of nonessential services broadly under the guise of protecting people—the more people who are able to shelter in place allows people to not be exposed.”
“They’re using a framework around abortion not being essential as a way of kind of further mandating people staying in place,” she complained.
But Francis said Planned Parenthood, which profits from abortions, “has proven time and time again that its sole focus is abortion, not women’s healthcare”:
This is evidenced by the fact that many of their clinics have shut down all services except [sic] for abortion at this time. If they were truly concerned about women’s health, they would be providing those other services and not doing abortions. Abortion proponents continuously assert that abortion is essential women’s healthcare, when, in fact, it is neither essential nor healthcare.
“Because pregnancy is a natural biological process, elective abortion is not treating a disease process,” Francis said. “It is, rather, a social solution.”
Skop agreed, stating nearly all abortions in the United States are performed “for social or financial indications”:
If the prohibition against elective abortions during the COVID crisis causes some women to change their minds and carry their pregnancies to term, this will be a good outcome for these women and their children. In a quarter century of delivering babies, I have observed that almost all unintended and initially undesired babies are desired by my patients once the pregnancy comes to term.
Skop observed that, at a time when all elective medical procedures are being postponed so that healthcare workers treating coronavirus patients can be protected, Planned Parenthood is doing the opposite.
“Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers should put the public’s interests above their financial well-being, and cease performing a purely elective procedure,” she asserted.