Governor Bill Lee had issued an emergency order April 8 banning abortions for three weeks, with the goal of freeing up protective medical equipment for doctors caring for COVID-19 patients and limiting interactions between patients and abortionists.
The reason the judge gave for allowing abortions, according to the AP, is that the defendants did not show that an appreciative amount of protective medical equipment would be saved by halting abortions in the state.
On April 12, a federal judge ruled that the state of Alabama cannot move to limit abortion procedures through measures intended to focus medical resources on fighting coronavirus. Governor Kay Ivey had issued a statewide order March 19 which stopped all medical procedures except for emergencies or those needed to "avoid serious harm from an underlying condition or disease, or necessary as part of a patient's ongoing and active treatment."
Granting a preliminary injunction, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson wrote that "efforts to combat COVID-19 do not outweigh the lasting harm imposed by the denial of an individual's right to terminate her pregnancy, by an undue burden or increase in risk on patients imposed by a delayed procedure, or by the cloud of unwarranted prosecution against providers."
Governor Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma issued an executive order halting non-essential surgeries and minor medical procedures in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stitt clarified 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."
On April 1, Stitt extended the order's prohibitions until April 30. On March 30, abortion providers in the state challenged the halt to elective abortions in court. On April 7, Judge Charles Goodwin of Oklahoma's Western District Court put a temporary stay on Stitt's order, allowing some abortions, including medication abortions, to continue.
The court's restraining order is in effect until April 20, after which the court can let it expire or address the situation again.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
On April 6, a court ruled that Ohio cannot stop abortion clinics from operating due to COVID-19.
Ohio had ordered a halt on surgical abortions as "non-essential" medical procedures during the pandemic, before a district court put a temporary restraining order on that policy March 30.
U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker on April 14 granted a temporary restraining order against the state of Arkansas' order to halt elective abortions.
Governor Kim Reynolds issued an order March 30 classifying abortion as an elective procedure and banning them during the pandemic, but the state later acknowledged that the order only suspends "nonessential" surgical abortions that can be delayed without undue risk to the health of the patient, the Des Moines Register reports.