Villavicencio works at an outpatient clinic affiliated with a local hospital, so she provides a wide range of reproductive-health services. Today, in my clinic, I saw someone who is 39 weeks [pregnant], 35 weeks [pregnant], counseled someone about a C-section, saw a non-pregnant patient for abnormal bleeding, another patient for an IUD, and then I did a medication abortion, she says. When I’m on labor and delivery, I’m primarily delivering babies, but occasionally when someone comes in with an emergency—they’re bleeding or infected—and they need an emergency abortion, I can do that as well. I also go to other clinics that are not affiliated with my hospital and provide abortions. In two weeks, Villavicencio will begin what she and her coworkers have labeled the Samurai VS Covid 19 Shirt besides I will buy this COVID schedule: Doctors are split into two or three teams; one team will be on for two weeks straight, come off, and then another team will come on. What that allows for is if you get sick, you can be quarantined for the two weeks that you’re off, Villavicencio explains. And there are also people waiting in the wings if someone gets sick during a shift.
Like many health care workers, Villavicencio is feeling the Samurai VS Covid 19 Shirt besides I will buy this strain COVID-19 has put on our health care system. But as a doctor who also provides abortions, she’s also facing another particularly inhumane challenge: an onslaught of attacks from GOP politicians who are attempting to use a global pandemic to ban abortion care and impede her and her fellow providers’ ability to treat patients. Currently, Republican governors and attorneys general in Ohio, Mississippi, Texas, Iowa, Alabama, and Oklahoma are attempting to halt abortion services, claiming doing so will free up necessary personal protective equipment and hospital beds. Many have cast doubt on this argument. Texas attorney general Ken Paxton issued a temporary ban on any abortion in the state not medically necessary to save a mother’s life or health—a draconian move quickly challenged in court. A federal judge halted the ban, then, less than 24 hours later, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated it.