Several Pro-Life health care professionals in Fort Worth, along with the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), have sued the City of Fort Worth to enforce the city’s COVID-19 order that prohibits all elective medical procedures, including elective abortion.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Fort Worth issued a stay-at-home order that included prohibitions on all elective medical, surgical, and dental procedures in order to enforce social distancing recommendations and conserve desperately needed personal protective equipment for frontline health care workers combatting the pandemic. The language of the order concerning prohibiting elective medical procedures mirrors the executive order issued by Governor Abbott, which Attorney General Ken Paxton later confirmed includes prohibiting elective chemical and surgical abortions. Over the past few weeks there has been a legal back-and-forth between an Austin-area federal district judge and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals over whether Governor Abbott’s executive order applies to abortion providers and to both medical and surgical abortions. However, throughout all of this the City of Fort Worth has not clarified whether their order includes prohibiting abortion.
The abortion businesses in Fort Worth, Southwest Fort Worth Abortion Services Center and Whole Woman’s Health of Fort Worth, continue to perform medical abortions, protected under the current injunction of Governor Abbott’s executive order, but completely disregarding the separate prohibition under the City of Fort Worth’s order. The plaintiffs have sued the Mayor of Fort Worth and the two abortion providers in Fort Worth, demanding that the City of Fort Worth clarify whether their stay-at-home order does indeed prohibit all elective abortion along with their prohibition on other elective medical procedures during the COVID-19 outbreak. The lawsuit seeks an injunction on the city’s stay-at-home order until and unless the order clarifies that a prohibition on all elective abortion is included.
The legal back-and-forth at the state level and the unprecedented situation of COVID-19 necessitates cities clarifying the scope and impact of their stay-at-home orders, especially regarding elective abortion. The success of this lawsuit would mean two active abortion mills become limited in their ability to destroy preborn life in the midst of this crisis. Stay tuned for updates on this lawsuit.