Gov. Lee Says His ‘Expectation’ Is That Abortion Clinics Would Cancel Procedures During Pandemic


Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said Wednesday that it is his “hope and expectation” that abortion clinics would cancel elective procedures during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lee issued an executive order Monday that requires all hospitals and surgical outpatient facilities to cancel or postpone all “non-essential procedures” through April 13. The intent of the order is to free up personal protective equipment for health care professionals on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

His executive order asks “non-hospital health care providers,” such as abortion facilities, to deliver any personal protective equipment in their possession to the nearest Tennessee National Guard Armory.

“Our health center staff are working to provide health care in challenging times every single day and in times like this it is even more crucial. Patients need access to sexual and reproductive health care every day regardless of what else is going on in the world and in their lives. Many times disasters actually increase the need for our services,” Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi said in a recent statement posted to Facebook.

According to the Associated Press, the organization declined to comment on Gov. Lee’s executive order.

“The intent of this Executive Order is to gain greater access to personal protective equipment,” Lee’s office said in a statement provided to the outlet. “Gov. Lee believes elective abortions aren’t essential procedures and given the state of PPE in Tennessee and across the country his hope and expectation would be that those procedures not take place during this crisis.”

Lee’s executive order does not specifically mention abortion or penalties for noncompliance, leaving some room for interpretation as to whether abortion falls under the category of “non-essential.”

Planned Parenthood officials in Ohio are continuing to schedule surgical abortions because they are “essential procedures,” The Ohio Star reported.

As of Wednesday, Tennessee had 784 confirmed COVID-19 cases, three deaths, and 53 hospitalizations, according to the Department of Health.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].







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7 Thoughts to “Gov. Lee Says His ‘Expectation’ Is That Abortion Clinics Would Cancel Procedures During Pandemic”

  1. […] The organization goes on to say that Governor Lee in the daily COVID-19 press conference Wednesday expressed his “hope” and “expectation” that elective abortions will not be performed, as The Tennessee Star reported. […]

  2. William Delzell

    At least two of the four comments above come from MALE persons who will never have to deal with either unwanted or medically dangerous pregnancies. For these men to determine whether a pregnant should have an abortion or not especially if her health demands it is obscene. A man attempting to mess with a female’s reproductive system is like a female who supports the male-only draft while hollering for equal rights. Let the doctors and the pregnant patients decides what is best on an individual case by case basis. I hope you guys are ready to raise any unaborted babies. It is a huge financial responsibility that will take a huge chunk out of your adult lives that you guys never think about!

    1. 83ragtop50

      So to you money is more important than life? How sad.

  3. 83ragtop50

    Step up Governor and shut down those killing machines.

  4. Concerned!

    “His ‘Expectation’ Is That Abortion Clinics Would Cancel Procedures During Pandemic” What does that mean? Does he expect the clinics to close or is he telling them to close. Come on Governor be consistent and strong. Abortion is an unnecessary surgical procedure. If a woman has a emergency she can go to the hospital.

  5. Kevin

    Kudos to Governor Lee! I have NOT heard of any other chief executive of any other State utter these words. At least during these dark days, maybe a few extra unborn babies will see the light of day! There is always hope!

  6. rick

    Lee does not have the backbone to close the clinics. Worry about saving people from the virus but, it’s still ok to take the life of an unborn child – SICK .