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Texas Blocks Abortion Access Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

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On March 23, Texas Governor Abbott issued an order postponing all elective operations and procedures that are not “immediately medically necessary," including abortions. 

Reproductive-rights advocates say the procedure is time-sensitive and if appointments are delayed until April 21 as ordered, the window for some women to terminate pregnancies will have closed. 

Is this rule justifiable or another veiled attempt to limit abortion access in Texas? Is the ban reasonable amid a global pandemic and how is it being justified? Do any circumstances warrant an exception? 

What consequences could health care providers face if they violate the order? Will orders that deem abortions non-essential, like those out of Texas and Ohio, stand up in court?

Could state leaders prolong the postponement period beyond April 21? What rights and options do women have for managing their pregnancies during a public health crisis? 

Guests:

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call  833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org  or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, April 7.

Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.