CNA Staff, Apr 7, 2020 / 11:00 am America/Denver (CNA).
Catholic dioceses in Oklahoma joined other Christian leaders on Monday to ask a federal court to let stand a state order halting elective abortions during the pandemic.
“Abortion is not an absolute right,” said a friend-of-the-court brief filed April 6 by Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, the Diocese of Tulsa, the Catholic Conference of Oklahoma, leaders of the state’s Baptist churches, as well as an ecumenical group of faith leaders.
“States also have a duty to protect the health and safety of women who undergo this life altering procedure. That is why courts have upheld laws requiring waiting periods, ultrasounds, parental rights notifications for minors, and prohibitions against partial-birth abortions—even before viability,” the brief argued.
Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma issued an executive order halting non-essential surgeries and minor medical procedures in the state during the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) pandemic.
He clarified on March 27 that the order prohibited elective abortions, except in cases where the mother’s life or health was deemed to be at risk, among the non-essential surgeries that were to be halted. The order also stopped “routine dermatological, ophthalmological, and dental procedures, as well as most scheduled healthcare procedures such as orthopedic surgeries.”