But what if it’s snowing? Governor Gretchen Whitmer has banned gardening and planting in the coronavirus pandemic and blocked Michiganders from traveling between their own homes. Like many other states, Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders also include a ban on elective surgeries, an order intended to preserve desperately needed surgical masks and gowns to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.
Well, except for one elective surgery, that is. The RNC jumped all over this clip from Whitmer’s interview yesterday with David Axelrod, and for good reason (via Twitchy):
AXELROD: As we speak, in Texas and a couple of other states — I think Ohio may be another — the state has asked to suspend abortion services as part of this COVID-19 protocol. This is probably going to go to the Supreme Court. What is your reaction to that? You’re a governor, you have to make these decisions as well. There are other procedures that have been suspended.
WHITMER: You know, we stopped elective surgeries here in Michigan, and some people have tried to say that that type of a procedure is considered the same and that’s ridiculous. You know, a woman’s healthcare, her whole future, her ability to decide if and when she starts a family is not an election, it is a fundamental to her life. It is life sustaining and it’s something that government should not be getting in the middle of.
Well, planting vegetables in your own garden or crops in your own field is also pretty “life sustaining” too, but Whitmer didn’t have any trouble getting in the middle of those actions. Whitmer’s amused dismissal of rights in yesterday’s defense of her chaotic and arbitrary list of orders in her “COVID-19 protocol” sounds more like a list of things that Whitmer simply has no particular interest in allowing than a narrowly-tailored set of temporary limits on the rights of Michiganders.
This declaration makes that arbitrariness all the more apparent, and Whitmer’s status as a wanna-be petty tyrant all the more clear. There actually is a legitimate state interest in preserving PPE for critical and emergency medical use, which is why other elective surgeries have been suspended in many states for the time being. An abortion is an elective surgery, except in the extremely rare cases where a pregnancy could be fatal to the mother (ectopic pregnancies, for example). All other abortions consume PPE the same way that hip replacements, discectomies, and other reconstructive surgeries do. Ask people who have to wait for such surgeries and they might describe those as “life-sustaining,” too, with lots of implications about choices of careers, life styles, family engagement, future physical health, and so on.
In fact, why don’t we ask the babies being aborted as to whether abortions are “life sustaining.” They might have a different perspective on a surgery where one of out the two human beings who go in end up dead.