Abortion clinic defies coronavirus stop mandate, Ohio issues cease and desist order

Mary Margaret Olohan, DCNF


The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) issued a cease and desist order Monday to a Cleveland abortion clinic that defied an order to stop performing abortions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Preterm employee Fiona Thomas confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation Monday morning that the clinic would not stop performing abortions, despite a Wednesday order from the ODH and a Friday letter from Attorney General Dave Yost mandating that all non-essential and elective surgeries, including abortions, cease in order to preserve Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers.

Following a report from the Daily Caller News Foundation, press secretary Melanie Amato said in a Monday evening statement to the DCNF that the ODH “has been made aware of allegations that some health care providers appear to have violated the order on performing non-elective procedures.”

“When ODH is made aware of allegations that medical facilities are not being complied with ODH’s order, ODH is asking the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to issue cease and desist orders,” Amato told the DCNF. “These orders have started going out.”

“This is now an enforcement issue,” she added.

Preterm Executive Director Chrisse France told the DCNF Monday morning that her organization would continue to provide “the full range of abortion care services because it is essential healthcare.”

France added: “In compliance with the order from the Ohio Department of Health, our physicians will be making individualized determinations to ensure each person gets the healthcare they need and that all healthcare providers across the state have access to the supplies needed during this pandemic.”

Preterm declined to comment Monday afternoon on how the clinic could be in compliance with ODH’s order to cease all non-essential and elective surgeries that use PPE if the clinic continues to perform abortions.

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