Governor suspends medical procedures due to pandemic


West Virginians for Life applauds Governor Jim Justice, who, with the support of Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, has announced that all health care facilities postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not medically necessary during the current COVID-19 pandemic. In his statement the Governor said he would “suspend all elective medical procedures” effective 11:59 p.m. tonight. 

This should mean that elective abortions will not be available in West Virginia during this pandemic. However, those defined as medically necessary according to WV code will still be available to women and girls in those rare instances. In WV Code §16-2M-2 “medically necessary” abortions are defined in part as

“a condition that…so complicates the medical condition of a pregnant female that it necessitates the immediate abortion of her pregnancy …to avert her death or…will create serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, not including psychological or emotional conditions.”

A number of states, among them neighboring Ohio, have included abortion in their calls to cancel all non-essential or elective surgeries. The purpose of these directives is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for use by those engaged in serving the needs of COVID-19 patients.

Representatives of over 30,000 physicians have responded to the claims of pro-abortion medical groups that elective abortions are “essential healthcare.” In their response, the 30,000 physicians point out that “elective abortion treats no disease process” and “continuing to perform elective abortions during a pandemic is medically irresponsible.”

In addition, the physicians point out that “Elective abortion is neither 'essential' nor 'urgent,' but it does consume critical resources such as masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment, and unnecessarily exposes patients and physicians to pathogens. Elective abortion, both surgical and drug induced, also generates more patients to be seen in already overburdened emergency rooms.” They indicated that 5% of women who undergo medication (chemical) abortions end in an emergency room, usually for hemorrhage.

Wanda Franz, Ph.D., president of West Virginians for Life, stated, “In a February 2020 West Virginia poll conducted by Triton Polling, only 22% of registered voters support abortion for elective reasons. We support Governor Justice and Attorney General Morrisey in protecting the public and preserving resources for use by those fighting COVID-19.”

National Right to Life Director of State Legislation Ingrid Duran commented that, “West Virginians understand elective abortions are not healthcare. Abortion facilities should instead donate PPE's to the brave healthcare workers working day and night to save lives.”

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