Washington, DC—Katie Glenn, Government Affairs Counsel at Americans United for Life, issued the following statement regarding the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision affirming the authority of Texas to close abortion clinics in order to fight the COVID-19 crisis:

“I am delighted to see the Fifth Circuit reinstate the authority of Governor Abbott and Texas public health officials to do everything possible to flatten the curve and prevent unneeded suffering due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Texas, like every other state, faces a devastating public health emergency. In response, Governor Abbott, like many governors, implemented emergency measures to minimize the spread and prioritize the use of medical equipment to combat Coronavirus. One such measure was postponing non-essential medical procedures for a few weeks.

“The reasonable restriction of constitutional rights during public health emergencies is a well-established Supreme Court precedent that has been referenced in many abortion cases, going back to Roe v. Wade.

“This Order is not just reasonable, but necessary, to slow the spread of infectious disease in Texas, which is why doctors across all fields of medicine have complied and supported it. Everyone except for abortionists, who would carry on business as usual even as the rest of us make once-in-a-lifetime sacrifices to curb the spread of the pandemic. They falsely claimed that the Governor’s Order is an outright ban on abortion, even though it expires on April 21, 2020.

“Fortunately, the Fifth Circuit recognized that the Order only delays certain non-essential abortions under the same restrictions as dozens of other types of non-essential procedures. In fact, the Order does not even mention abortion.

“This lawsuit is typical abortion distortion, an industry leaning on so-called “women’s health” to avoid complying with laws that actually protect women’s health and safety. What Texans need is for every possible medical resource to be focused on stopping Coronavirus spread and caring for those who are afflicted.

Americans United for Life (AUL) is a nonprofit, public-interest law and policy organization that holds the distinction of being the first national pro-life organization in America—incorporated in 1971. It protects and defends human life from conception to natural death through vigorous legislative, judicial, and educational efforts.

press@aul.org or 202-741-4921