Statement from The Very Reverend Katherine Ragsdale, President & CEO of the National Abortion Federation (NAF):

On March 20, Ohio Attorney General David Yost sent a letter to two abortion clinics ordering them to cease the provision of abortion care under the state’s order barring all “non-essential” surgeries and procedures. NAF condemns in the strongest of terms this attempt to erect additional barriers to abortion care in Ohio, where patients already face a host of obstacles accessing the health care they need.

Abortion is time-sensitive, essential health care, and it is utterly shameful that Attorney General Yost is exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to cut patients off from the care they need. Significantly deferring abortion care has profound consequences for patients and their families; the nature of a pandemic only amplifies those consequences. Patients decide to end a pregnancy for many reasons, including their health, their ability to work and care for their family, and strained economic circumstances. COVID-19 has intensified these circumstances for people all across the country. In this moment, patients in need of time-sensitive procedures including abortion must have timely access to that care. Ohio deserves better than a craven exploitation of a health care crisis in furtherance of an anti-abortion agenda.

These clinics remain open and in compliance with Ohio’s order pertaining to essential health care. During this public health crisis, we must be able to rely on our leaders to ensure the continuation of abortion care as an essential service.

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