Mass. deems knee replacements ‘non-essential’ – but abortions are

Shutterstock image via user Semmick Photo.

A Massachusetts public health commissioner’s order to cancel any “nonessential, elective invasive procedure” – with the goal of freeing up resources to deal with coronavirus – does NOT include abortions: the elective destruction of a living, viable human fetus.

The memo sent by Elizabeth Kelley, director of the state’s Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality, declares: “Terminating a pregnancy is not considered a nonessential, elective invasive procedure for the purpose of this guidance. However, the ultimate decision is based on clinical judgment by the caring physician.”

Joint replacements, injections into joint spaces or body cavity, colonoscopies and similar procedures are classed as “nonessential, elective invasive procedures” under the commissioner’s order.

The state Department of Public Health recommends that providers use their discretion on invasive procedures that must move forward to “preserve the patient’s life and health.”

Presumably an abortion meets these criteria, although the baby’s “life and health” are in fact the target to be destroyed, as if they are a dangerous tumor.

The state offered several examples of nonessential procedures that would be affected by the order. The list includes:

  • Procedures involving skin incision
  • Injections of any substance into a joint space or body cavity
  • Orthopedic procedures, such as a hip replacement or knee replacement
  • Colonoscopies, bronchoscopies, kidney tube placements and other endoscopic procedures
  • Invasive radiology procedures
  • Most dermatology procedures
  • Invasive ophthalmic procedures, including “miscellaneous procedures” involving eye implants
  • Tooth extractions and other oral procedures
  • Podiatric procedures such as removing an ingrown toenail
  • Skin or wound debridement
  • Sound wave treatment to break down kidney stones
  • Gynecological exams and/or endometrial biopsy


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