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Month: March 2020

Pennsylvania Allows Planned Parenthood to Perform Abortions Despite Elective Surgery Ban

Planned Parenthood clinics in Pennsylvania have eliminated all services except for abortion in the wake of a statewide ban on elective surgeries meant to preserve scarce medical resources amid the coronavirus pandemic. Democratic governor Tom Wolf issued a directive ordering the shut down of all businesses “that are not life sustaining” on March 20, and a guidance from the state government prohibits elective procedures performed by health care services and hospitals. Despite these directives, Planned Parenthood Keystone, which serves central and eastern Pennsylvania, announced it would remain open “for abortion services only” while shutting down its other operations. Recent Stories in Coronavirus L.A., North Carolina Sheriffs Back off Gun Shutdowns Democratic AGs Want Abortion Pill Restrictions Lifted During Coronavirus State Department Has Rescued More Than 27,000 Americans Abroad Amid Coronavirus Outbreak Hospitals are facing shortages of medical supplies necessary to deal with the pandemic as the number of coronavirus patients drastically increases across the state and country. The abortion clinics also requested donations of personal protective equipment, including “hand sanitizer, home-sewn masks, shoe covers, and surgical hats,” so they could continue to perform abortions. The order, issued on March 20, came after the state’s health secretary urged doctors and patients to consider postponing noncritical surgeries. The state’s largest abortion provider has ignored the directive and continued to proceed with abortions, even as it stopped providing routine exams and other services. Planned Parenthood did not respond to a request...

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New Jersey Backs Down on Gun-Store Closures

New Jersey gun stores will reopen after Democrat governor Phil Murphy abandoned an attempted statewide shutdown stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. On Monday, Murphy said the stores will be able to operate “by appointment only and under limited hours” during the duration of his emergency shutdown order. The move came two days after the federal government updated its essential business guidance to include gun stores, ranges, and manufacturers. Murphy said he disagreed with the nonbinding guidance issued by the Department of Homeland Security but would follow its prescriptions. Recent Stories in Coronavirus Democratic AGs Want Abortion Pill Restrictions Lifted During Coronavirus State Department Has Rescued More Than 27,000 Americans Abroad Amid Coronavirus Outbreak Kennedy Center Axes National Symphony Orchestra Staff After Receiving $25 Million in Stimulus Funds “In accordance with the guidance released over the weekend by the federal Department of Homeland Security, we will allow firearms retailers to operate,” Murphy said during a Monday press conference. “It wouldn’t have been my definition, but that’s the definition at the federal level, and I didn’t get a vote on that.” Murphy’s initial order closed not only businesses, but the state’s background check system, making it effectively impossible to purchase legal firearms in the state. His reversal may signal an end to the debate over whether gun stores should be considered “essential” businesses as states enact stay-at-home orders to combat the pandemic....

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