Gov. Kim Reynolds office said the proclamation she signed March 26 suspending non-essential and elective medical procedures until April 16 includes surgical abortions.
“All nonessential or elective surgeries and procedures that utilize personal protective equipment (PPE) must not be conducted by any hospital, outpatient surgery provider, or outpatient procedure provider, whether public, private, or nonprofit,” according to Reynolds’ proclamation. “A nonessential surgery or procedure is one that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of a patient, considering all appropriate factors including, but not limited to any: (1) threat to the patient’s life if the surgery or procedure is not performed; (2) threat of permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system; (3) risk of metastasis or progression of staging; and (4) risk of rapidly worsening to severe symptoms.”
Pat Garrett, Reynolds’ communications director, confirmed to the Daily in an email March 27 the proclamation extends to surgical abortion procedures.
Other states have taken similar moves in recent days to suspend elective and non-essential procedures. Texas and Ohio have also included surgical abortions among non-essential procedures that would be suspended to preserve resources amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reynolds’ administration has previously taken actions to restrict abortions in the state, including signing a law that banned abortions once a fetal heartbeat could be detected. That law was struck down in a district court in 2019.