Abortions Exempted From Elective Surgery Ban in Massachusetts

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2020/03/18/abortions-exempted-from-elective-surgery-ban-in-massachusetts/

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has exempted elective abortions from the statewide ban on elective surgery during the coronavirus precautionary restrictions.

“DPH defines nonessential, elective invasive procedures as procedures that are scheduled in advance because the procedure does not involve a medical emergency; provided, however, that terminating a pregnancy is not considered a nonessential, elective invasive procedure for the purpose of this guidance,” the state agency said in a written statement.

The statement does not explain why abortions are exempted from the ban.

A spokesman for the state’s public health agency acknowledged a request for comment from New Boston Post early Wednesday afternoon, but did not immediately provide one.

Among the surgical procedures deemed “nonessential” by the state’s public health agency are:


  • Knee replacement
  • Hip replacement
  • Excision of cancerous skin lesions
  • Colonoscopy
  • Tooth Extraction
  • Removal of Ingrown Toenail
  • Kidney stone lithotripsy (a procedure that breaks down kidney stones)


The state’s exemption allowing abortions to go forward during the crisis pleased advocates of abortion, including Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts.

Planned Parenthood released a statement via Twitter:

NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts released a statement Tuesday, March 17 implying that the administration of Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican who supports legal abortion, implemented the exemption for abortion at the request of abortion advocates.

“We thank the Baker Administration for working to preserve continued access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care, including abortion care during this unprecedented public health crisis,” the NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts statement says. “… Reproductive health care decisions are time-sensitive and patients need speedy access to care. We recognize the intense strain COVID-19 has put and will continue to put on the healthcare system and we are grateful to the Administration for listening to our concerns and recognizing the unique impact of COVID-19 on maintaining access to reproductive health care.”

The decision to exempt abortion outraged Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute.

“Planned Parenthood’s priority is to keep killing babies even when the whole world is focused on saving as many lives as possible right now, and they’ve even managed to convince the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to prioritize elective abortions during the current health crisis,” Beckwith said in a telephone interview.

Massachusetts Citizens for Life expressed disappointment in the state’s decision, providing a written statement to New Boston Post that said in part:

We were disheartened to learn that, upon Governor Baker’s approval, elective abortion will still be permitted in the coming weeks, even while other elective surgeries have been prohibited due to the coronavirus pandemic. Women’s health and safety should be our top priority now, as always. Risking exposure to the highly contagious disease during visits to abortion clinics not only puts our women at risk but their families and those of clinic workers as well. This is yet another indication that the once-popular abortion-rights mantra ‘safe, legal, and rare’ is a complete farce. In the face of a global pandemic, the abortion industry once again demonstrates that protecting women’s health has never been its priority. Instead, the abortion lobby’s singular goal is to increase the bottom line, even at the expense of risking the health and wellbeing of those who enter their clinics and those who work at them during these unprecedented times.

Below are images from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health advisory on elective surgery. While the statement is dated Sunday, March 15, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts said the abortion exemption was granted on Tuesday, March 17.