Texas’ Executive Order GA-09: A Dangerous Precedent in Unprecedented Times
As lockdowns swept across the country in early March, nonessential healthcare services were shut down to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Texas was no exception. Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-09, which “postpone[d] all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary” unless the patient “would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient’s physician.” The next day, Texas’ attorney general published a press release that explicitly stated the shutdown of medical facilities included abortion providers, unless the pregnancy was life-threatening, and noncompliance with the order would result in a fine, jail time, or both. Ultimately, GA-09 is an assault on basic reproductive rights, a thinly veiled attempt to ban all abortions under the guise of a public health crisis.