Salem, OR — Oregon is facing an unprecedented challenge in the coronavirus pandemic. Governor Kate Brown waited more than a month after Washington’s first positive result to request additional personal protective equipment (PPE) from the Strategic National Stockpile. As of March 25, the state has exhausted all of its emergency stockpile of surgical masks, 80% of its respirators, and 90% of its hospital gowns.
“Despite asking all non-emergency medical procedures to be postponed to save PPE,” says Lois Anderson, ORTL executive director, “Governor Brown, a former abortion industry lobbyist, has carved out an exception for abortion facilities.”
Oregon’s attorney general Ellen Rosenblum clarified: “Oregon’s executive order exempts abortion services from its delay of non-urgent surgical procedures.”
“We join with over 30,000 physicians in calling for a halt to continuing elective abortions during this crisis,” continued Anderson. “Elective abortion does not treat a disease. Pregnancy is evidence of a healthy reproductive system. It is neither ‘essential’ nor ‘urgent,’ but it does consume PPE resources needed to protect health care workers on the frontlines of this crisis.”
At the time of this release’s delivery, roughly 800 emails have been sent by concerned Oregonians to Governor Brown, insisting that she address this critical error.
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As a health care provider, I am amazed that elective abortion is an exemption for the emergent/urgent patient treatment under the governor’s executive order. Not only does this use PPE that is in short supply, but puts patients at risk needlessly. I hope that this oversight will be corrected soon.