A coalition of more than 30 anti-abortion rights activists called for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to temporarily ban most abortion services amid the coronavirus outbreak, urging HHS Secretary Alex Azar to force clinics who provide the procedure to “cease operations.” The letter, sent to the department on Tuesday, asks HHS to force organizations that offer the procedure, like Planned Parenthood, to suspend abortion services “and join healthcare providers in donating their PPE [personal protective equipment] and other equipment to coronavirus response.” The groups, which include Susan B. Anthony List, National Right to Life, and Heritage Action, also requested that telemedicine as a way for patients to receive medication abortion not be expanded amid the outbreak.The request comes after two states — Texas and Ohio — ordered temporary bans on abortion in their own states, interpreting halts on “non-essential” medical procedures to include pregnancy termination. In Ohio, the attorney general’s office sent cease-and-desist letters to two of the state’s clinics that provide abortion, and clarified to CBS News that abortion was included in the state’s temporary suspension of “non-essential” medical procedures.  In Texas, nearly all abortions have been banned, with the exception of those that are “medically necessary


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