Texas Gov Abbott pandemic hypocrisy on abortion vs. stem cell clinics

Greg Abbott Texas stem cells COVID abortion
Governor Greg Abbott of Texas.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has effectively banned abortions in his state during the COVID-19 pandemic, but his reasoning makes no sense and is inconsistent with his policies more generally on health-care clinics.

The Tribune notes that while “Abbott’s original ban was intended to preserve medical resources”, his own statements contradict that, including “On Friday, he said Texas had ample hospital bed space and a strong supply chain of personal protective equipment.”

As I wrote last week, I “checked in” with unproven stem cell clinics across the country by phone and found 6 out of 10 that I made contact with were still open during the pandemic, and this included 2 in Texas. On Friday I checked out a few more in that state and they were open too.

Why hasn’t Governor Abbott closed down stem cell clinics and he’s instead focusing on abortion clinics?

It’s politics, of course. Abbott has a long history of hostility to abortion clinics (e.g. wanting to overturn Roe v. Wade) and has embraced unproven stem cell clinics. One of the first stem cell clinics in the nation was a firm run by Texans called Celltex that injected then-Governor Rick Perry and Abbott signed a new law in 2017 that was widely viewed as being pro-stem cell clinic.

If medical supplies were actually in dire shape in his state as Abbott claimed for his reason to target abortion clinics, then he should shut down stem cell clinics in Texas. It sure seems on a quick look that there are far more stem cell clinics there than active abortion clinics in that state.

Also, according to NPR Abbott’s action has pushed many women seeking abortions to travel long distances to other states to find clinics, potentially putting themselves at greater risk of getting COVID-19.

Looking ahead, this coming week Texas and some others will start “opening up” with a softening of shelter in place kind of restrictions. In my view, the U.S. does not seem ready to open up given the state of the pandemic and inadequate testing for COVID-19 that is ongoing. What’s likely to happen is that we’ll see a second wave of the novel coronavirus infections at some point in the coming months in part due to the relaxations of restrictions in states across the country.

9 thoughts on “Texas Gov Abbott pandemic hypocrisy on abortion vs. stem cell clinics”

  1. I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this one. Nobody have ever seemed to worry too much about going out and giving other people the flu, which in 2017-18 killed 61,000 people in the US and hospitalized over 800,000 according to the CDC. And I’m not trying to downplay the seriousness of COVID.

  2. NPR is highly cited as being very apolitical and an extremely well vetted source of news throughout the journalistic world. It is know that the only real criticism of NPR is from -very partisan- sources. People who tend to rally against it are usually the most partisan themselves.

    As for Texas and not other states, Texas is know to have certain viewpoints that clash with the current thinking about abortion clinics vs stem cell clinics (both ‘medical in nature’), and so in that context it very well makes a lot of logical sense. So, yes it is relevant.

    On a purely political bent here, one can never complain about “pro-life” if they are for “liberating Texas” or any such easing of social distancing. Social distancing and economic ‘restrictions’ will save lives. Either all lives are important or they aren’t right? Just food for thought.

      1. Not at all actually. If you go expose a bunch of people to COVID-19 then you are potentially hurting a ton of people. If you go out and end up catching it yourself, you may then go on to infect many others.

  3. I think you are right, but for a different reason. You don’t mention the Michigan liberal democrat governor who says you can go out on your boat if it is a sailboat but not a power boat. She blocks people from hiring someone to cut their grass, but state employees can cut the grass around federal buildings. She closed cigar shops but left open pot stores. Did she close stem cell clinics? Many states including NY and Michigan are starting stem cell trials for corona-virus and I cannot find a single state that has ordered them to close. So it sounds like you are the one playing politics by singling out one republican governor but did not mentioning the democrats who do the same and much worse.

    I agree with you about stem cells. I had them done two years ago and was on the other side of the fence thinking they would make me better. Now I am much sicker and getting worse all the time. The stem cells ruined my life and no lawyer will take the case because I did not lose and eye or died from it. I have little hope of recovering anything, much less the money I lost. And so I think running a story about politics just to get some hits in on the other side is repugnant.

    Other than the politics, you do great and needed work. Please keep doing the real stories and leave politics to the media and mostly, NPR. NPR is the worst source anyone could ever quote if they are trying to prove they are being apolitical.



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