URGE Statement: Abortion Care is Essential Health Care

We must not let anti-abortion politicians bar access to critical reproductive services

March 21, 2020

Rachel Waters


(Washington, DC) — Statement by Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity on Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s instruction that health care providers stop providing abortion care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“On March 20, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost instructed two abortion clinics in Ohio to cease providing abortion care under the order that health care providers stop all ‘non-essential’ surgeries and medical procedures.”

“Abortion in not a ‘non-essential’ medical procedure. It is essential health care. Full stop. People across Ohio must be able to access abortion care without delay and with dignity and respect. It is disgraceful that anti-abortion extremists are politicizing the COVID-19 crisis by veiling their continued efforts to close Ohio’s abortion clinics under the guise of patient health and safety.” 

“URGE will not sit idly by while Ohio attempts to set a precedent in which pregnant people are forced to postpone essential health care, including abortion services, during a pandemic. Abortion is time-sensitive care and Ohio politicians should not put destructive barriers between people and the care they need. It is their duty to ensure that all their constituents, especially young people, those with low-incomes, LGBTQIA+ folks, and people of color can get the health care they need quickly and close to their communities.” 

“As the COVID-19 pandemic takes hold, people need more access to critical health care services like abortion, not less. We call on legislators, allies, and young people throughout the state of Ohio to demand that essential health care services like abortion remain available and accessible to all throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.”