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Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds updated her emergency declaration on Thursday. In her updated proclamation, she suspended elective and nonessential medical procedures.

So, many have asked, does this new restriction apply to abortions?

The Iowa Standard reached out to the Governor’s staff on Thursday and again on Friday. So far, there has not been an official response.

The Iowa Standard spoke with Planned Parenthood on Friday morning. Planned Parenthood said the only change to what they are doing with abortions right now is, when the procedure is scheduled, patients are being told to wait in their car when they get to their appointment. A phone number is provided to call front desk staff, who will go over verbal registration. Shortly after that, another staff member will call and go over medical history.

“Once they’ve completed that step, they come into the clinic to finish the rest of their appointment.”

When asked if that means surgical abortions are still being provided, the reply was yes.

Section One (A) of Reynolds’ order states all nonessential or elective surgeries and procedures that utilize personal protective equipment (PPE) must not be conducted by any hospital, outpatient surgery provider or outpatient procedure provider, whether public, private or nonprofit.

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott signed an order advising health care providers to postpone “surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary.” Like Iowa’s order, the restriction on nonessential medical procedures was designed to free up personal protective equipment.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton warned that Abbott’s order meant “any type of abortion” would be banned except those necessary to save a woman’s life.

In response, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood and the Lawyering Project filed an emergency federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of abortion providers in Texas.

Ohio also issued an order that restricted or prohibited abortions that were not essential. Mississippi, Tennessee and Louisiana have all issued similar orders.

Author: Jacob Hall