A panel of federal judges ruled 2-1 that Tennessee must allow the “Constitutional right” to abortion during the Chinese Coronavirus pandemic.
Ruling in favor of abortion were Judges Karen Nelson Moore (pictured left) and Helene N. White. The dissenting opinion came from Judge Amul R. Thapar (pictured right), appointed by President Donald Trump in 2017. Moore was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1995 and White was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2008.
Moore and White ruled that the so-called right to an abortion applies even during the state’s ban on elective medical procedures during the COVID-19 crisis.
And, here, although we have great respect for the challenges Tennessee faces as it responds to this novel public health crisis, we agree with the district court that the State’s response, in this one respect, unduly curtailed constitutional liberty, and that judicial intervention was thus warranted. By the same token, however, we also conclude that, when it comes to the precise scope of the district court’s injunction, the district court went too far in asserting its authority.
The case was an appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee at Nashville, which also sided with abortion advocates.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said it was his “hope and expectation” that abortion clinics would cancel elective procedures during the pandemic, as The Tennessee Star previously reported.
Lee issued an executive order that required all hospitals and surgical outpatient facilities to cancel or postpone all “non-essential procedures” to free up personal protective equipment for health care professionals.
Tennessee Right To Life (TNRTL) called on Governor Bill Lee to halt elective abortions, which were still happening despite the executive order, The Star said. TNRTL said the populations of those having abortions overlap with the highest number of cases of COVID-19, and that 79 percent of abortions are among Tennessee residents aged 20 to 34 – while 47 percent of Tennessee Department of Health confirmed COVID-19 cases are among Tennessee residents aged 21 to 40.
On the April 17 edition of The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Leahy was joined by all-star panelist Dr. Carol Swain.
Leahy and Swain discussed how it was that liquor stores and abortions fall under Governor Lee’s “essential business” category as these businesses remain in operation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Swain said she thought the CDC was inflating the death count to assert governmental control.
“I can tell you that I have a friend that’s been driving around snapping photos of testing sites,” Swain said; adding:
And testing sites were set up for people who suspected they might have COVID-19 because they had some kinds of symptoms. And every time he has driven by the place and taken photos there is nobody in line. This whole coronavirus pandemic scare, it’s not a hoax.
I’m not saying it’s a hoax but I’m saying that it has been greatly exaggerated for political purposes. We know from the CDC coding that they are inflating the numbers with people who have flu and various other things when it comes to the deaths. And as far as the people who test positive for it, most of them are just fine. 98% of them are just fine. And the ones who have difficulty are the ones who fall into those high-risk categories.
Listen to Leahy and Swain:
Read Judge Moore’s full opinion and Judge Thapar’s dissent:
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