Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said his executive order issued earlier this week that barred elective surgeries during the coronavirus pandemic also included abortions, The Oklahoman reports. The governor’s office said the exceptions to this were abortion procedures that were deemed a medical surgery or “necessary to prevent serious health risks to the unborn child's mother.” Friday’s clarification reportedly cited shortages of hospital beds and personal protective equipment as reasons to suspend the elective surgeries—which also include dermatological, dental and orthopedic procedures. “We must ensure that our health care professionals, first responders and medical facilities have all the resources they need to combat COVID-19,” Stitt wrote in a news release. “I am committed to doing whatever necessary to protect those who are on the front lines fighting against this virus.” The order suspends elective surgeries in the state until April 7.
Kentucky’s attorney general also called for his state’s governor to include abortions in the surgery suspensions. This comes after Texas and Ohio made similar moves to halt abortions during the pandemic.