Dear MoveOn member,
In a shameful attempt to use the coronavirus crisis to push their own radical agendas, the governors and attorneys general of Ohio, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Alabama have demanded the closure of their states' abortion clinics, calling abortions "non-essential" medical procedures.1
Moments ago, the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Texas's abortion ban, and since the 5th Circuit covers the states of Louisiana and Mississippi as well, it is expected that their bans will be able to go into effect immediately as well.2
Let's be very clear: Abortions are essential, time-sensitive medical procedures, and using a global pandemic to further restrict access to abortion is despicable.
In just the first day after the news was announced, Whole Women's Health—one of the last remaining abortion providers in Texas—was forced to cancel 150 appointments, and thus far Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas locations have had to cancel 200 more.3 For many, especially low-income people and people of color, the cost of traveling to another state—on top of the added risk of exposure to the coronavirus—will mean that they have lost access to abortion altogether.
This is unacceptable. To fight back, MoveOn is launching emergency campaigns in these six states to demand that abortion clinics be reopened immediately and that these blatantly illegal measures be rescinded. Mar, will you chip in $3 now?
The governors in these states are claiming that canceling abortion procedures is necessary to free up space in hospital beds. But abortion procedures are typically carried out in medical facilities that do not take care of people with respiratory illnesses.4 This means that patients receiving abortion care are not taking up needed hospital beds. These radical governors are also claiming that clinic closures are a way to provide additional personal protective equipment, or PPE, for the medical professionals treating coronavirus patients—but that is simply a lie.
If these states wanted to save PPE, they could lift restrictions on telemedicine for abortion providers and allow doctors to prescribe abortion medication that can be taken safely at home. Not one of these states has done so.
Instead, these states—four of which attempted to pass near-total abortion bans last year alone—are using the crisis to try to sneak full abortion bans onto the books under the radar. We won't let them get away with it.
MoveOn has already begun supporting local efforts in each of these states and sounding the alarm about the attack on access to abortion taking place during this pandemic. We're stretched thin as we tackle so many fights during this time of crisis, which is why we need member support to add more capacity to these fights. With your support, we'll build on the work we're already doing to ...
- Work directly with grassroots organizations in these states—to provide support and understand the needs on the ground.
- Flood the governors' offices and attorneys general offices with phone calls—demanding that these illegal, backdoor abortion bans be lifted immediately.
- Share petitions with MoveOn members, run digital ads, and much, much more.
MoveOn is working on all fronts to protect communities being hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn, and our resources are spread thin. Can you help close the gap and chip in $3 to make sure we can fight to stop these abortion bans as well?
We are all living through extremely tumultuous times, and while so many of us are looking for ways to come together and help, these bans make it clear that many people in power saw this crisis as an opportunity to cause even more harm. Just this past year, we've seen attacks on abortion access and rights spike, and MoveOn members have stepped up where we can—donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to abortion funds in Alabama, in Missouri, and to Planned Parenthood.
With access to abortion already under so much threat nationwide, we cannot allow the radical right to gain another foothold by ruthlessly capitalizing on a pandemic.
Thanks for all you do.
–Mary, Erica, Michael, Thad, and the rest of the team
1. "Pandemic sparks new front in abortion wars," Politico, March 24, 2020
2. Tweet from Allison Miranda Ollstein, March 31, 2020
3. "Providers Report Anger And Despair Among Patients After Texas Officials Ban Abortions," KUT 90.5, March 27, 2020
4. "The coronavirus threat to public health is no time to restrict abortion access," The Washington Post, March 26, 2020
Want to support our work? The MoveOn community will work every moment, day by day and year by year, to resist Trump's agenda, contain the damage, defeat hate with love, and begin the process of swinging the nation's pendulum back toward sanity, decency, and the kind of future that we must never give up on. And to do it we need your support, now more than ever. Will you stand with us?
Contributions to MoveOn Civic Action are not tax-deductible for income tax purposes. This email was sent to Mar Alfaro on March 31, 2020. To change your email address or update your contact info, click here. To remove yourself from this list, click here.