Open Letter to NC Gov. Roy Cooper

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Hand of Hope Pregnancy Centers
Hand of Hope Pregnancy Centers signed this petition

Dear Governor Cooper:

First of all, those of us signing this letter want you to know that we are praying for you as you face this unprecedented crisis in North Carolina.  We are very aware that you are under an extreme amount of pressure at this time.  Please know you are covered in our prayers as we unite both as Americans and North Carolinians.

Secondly, we listened to your live broadcast today explaining in detail your plan to keep North Carolinians safe from the COVID-19 outbreak.  We especially loved your quote, “North Carolinians know how to help each other.”  We believe that to be true.  In that mindset, we are asking you to follow your own guidelines by taking aggressive action to protect North Carolinians and close all abortion clinics across our state by your 5pm, Wednesday, March 25, 2020 deadline.  Abortion is an elective procedure.  There are a number of abortion clinics in our state that only provide abortion procedures in their Scope of Services.  Meaning, no women’s healthcare other than abortions are offered in those locations.  In our assessment across the state, we have collectively noticed that abortion clinics are actively – as recently as today – not practicing social distancing, not providing their customers with personal protective equipment and are falling well outside the ten person gathering rule.  Most abortion clinics are operating with upwards of 30 people inside their facilities at one time.  We are fully aware that you do not share our views on the humanity of the preborn; but we are fully confident that you agree that protecting the women who are entering these abortion clinics to procure elective procedures as well as the abortion clinic workers themselves is of utmost importance.  These customers and abortion clinic staff are being unnecessarily exposed to the COVID-19 virus and further exposing our general population once they return to their respective homes across the state and some into South Carolina and Virginia.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order to prevent a shortage of hospital capacity or personal protective equipment which would hinder efforts to cope with the COVID-19 disaster.  The Executive Order included abortion clinics and will stay in effect until April 21, 2020.  (MSN News)

Similarly, the Ohio Attorney General’s office issued a letter to Ohio abortion clinics to comply with an order from the Ohio Department of Health Director, who wrote that effective March 18, all non-essential or elective surgeries and procedures ‘should not be conducted’.  (CNN; Sgueglia, Spells, Jones; 3/23/20)  Documented cases exist where complications or side effects of both medical and surgical abortions have required emergency room visits.   This study concluded that approximately 5,500 women seek after-abortion emergency care annually; however the study only used data from one-fifth of all registered hospitals nationwide.  Using this model for comparison of the 6,146 registered hospitals (www.aha.org nationwide, we would see approximately 27,750 post-abortion emergency room visits per annum.  See www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29898742  and also https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=11067 .  In this heightened medical climate with shortages and capacity concerns, our state can quickly alleviate one of those contributing factors by simply closing abortion clinics across our state.

You noted in your press conference today that you are concerned about “sick people bringing the virus into the medical facilities” and that we need to “preserve medical personnel and equipment”.  We completely agree with you and ask you to please remember that abortions are elective procedures and not essential healthcare especially at a time when exposing women to the COVID pandemic can at the very least be delayed for a few weeks.

In closing, those of us who contend for the right to life from conception are consistently barraged with only caring for the baby and not her mother.  We wholeheartedly disagree with that argument and in this case, we are earnestly asking you to care for these women who are entering abortion clinics across our state and are unknowingly putting themselves, their loved ones and the general public at risk of either contracting COVID in these extremely populated areas or infecting others with the disease should they be infected themselves which in turn, would be a drain on our already limited medical resources and personnel.

We look forward to your response.  Thank you for your attention to this timely matter.

Cordially,

Tonya Baker Nelson, CEO, Hand of Hope Pregnancy Centers, Fuquay & Raleigh
Kristan Hawkins, President, Students for Life of America
Brooke Larkin, Southeast Regional Coordinator, Students for Life of America
Bobbie Meyer, State Director, LifeLink Carolina, Charlotte NC
Laura Strabley, Executive Director, Carolina Pregnancy Center, Greenville NC
Susan Sturgill, Executive Director, Wilkes Pregnancy Care Center, Wilkesboro NC
Vicky Currie, Executive Director, iChoose Pregnancy Support, Clayton NC
Beverly Weeks, Executive Director, Wayne Pregnancy Center, Goldsboro NC
Vickie Miglin, Executive Director, Pregnancy Resource Center, Statesville, NC
Evan Marbury, Executive Director, Pregnancy Support Services, Chapel Hill NC
Rev. Eddie Eaton, Sr. Pastor, Fuquay Varina Baptist Church, Fuquay Varina NC
Duane Garner, Pastor, Christ Church, Cary NC
Dr. Matt Capps, Sr. Pastor, Fairview Baptist Church, Apex NC
Warren Harvey, Sr. Pastor, Ambassador Presbyterian Church, Apex NC
Ben Pearce, Sr. Pastor, Baptist Grove Church, Fuquay NC
Grant Staubs, Sr. Pastor, Mid-Way Baptist Church, Raleigh NC
Craig Dyson, Communications Pastor, Mid-Way Baptist Church, Raleigh NC
Bob Johnson, Missions Pastor, Mid-Way Baptist Church, Raleigh NC
Chad Poprocki, Pastor Elder, Summit Church, Apex NC
Josh Kappes, Director of City Development, Love Life, Raleigh NC
Lisa Kochis, BSN, RN, Hand of Hope Pregnancy Centers, Raleigh NC
Lisa Searle, BSN, RN, Hand of Hope Pregnancy Centers, Raleigh NC
Joanna Paul, BSN, Hand of Hope Pregnancy Centers, Raleigh NC
Amanda Schachle, RN, Hand of Hope Pregnancy Centers, Fuquay NC
Michelle LaFave, RDMS, Hand of Hope Pregnancy Centers, Fuquay NC
J. Wesley Earley, MD, MBA, Owner, Cornerstone Family Medicine, Washington NC
Julie Joyner, RN, Chocowinity NC
Emily Clarke, RN, Princeton NC
Jennifer Crocker, RN, Kenly NC
Keri Hughes, Physical Therapist, Holly Springs
Jessica Van Essendelft, RN, Coastal Pregnancy Center, Washington NC
Jacqueline Thompson, MD, Washington NC