Partial Birth Abortion Coverup Strikes Again

In a ruling last week, U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton denied the U.S. Justice department access to medical records from San Francisco General Hospital and Planned Parenthood for use in  its upcoming defense of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. Judge Hamilton is also one of the three judges who blocked implementation of the ban on this abortion procedure after President Bush signed the law last November.


An important issue is whether this particular abortion technique is ever necessary for a woman's health. Courts have allowed essentially every variety of abortion procedure even in very late term pregnancies if they in some way were deemed necessary for a woman's 'health'. However, criteria for determining 'health' have been exceedingly loose, defined only by the physician performing the abortion and the definition of 'mental health' consisting only of the woman's desire to not be pregnant. The Justice Department, in seeking medical records from a number of institutions throughout the U.S.—region>, is attempting to demonstrate that the vast majority of these procedures are purely elective and not prompted by a true health risk to the woman.


Although the Justice Department requested that the medical records be stripped of all  identifying information, Judge Hamilton stated that privacy concerns were the basis of her denial. Unfortunately, the quality of information about abortion in the United States—region> is very poor. Available statistics are from the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a 'reproductive rights' advocacy organization, which collects data from abortion clinics on a voluntary basis. This is like asking the fox to count the chickens missing from the hen house. The Center for Disease Control is several years behind in obtaining its information on maternal mortality from abortion.


Individual states have no penalties for failure to report maternal deaths from abortion, and there are no reporting requirements for serious complications. Abortion advocacy organization organizations have fought legitimate study of abortion since Roe v. Wade. The dearth of good information in the U.S.—region> hampers serious researchers who wish to study medical and psychological aspects of abortion.


The procedure of Partial Birth Abortion was not developed like other surgical techniques, with informed consent in a university setting, with Institutional Review Boards (IRB's) protecting the rights of patients, ascertaining the risks and benefits of the new technology, and studying the short and long term complications of the procedure. There are no articles in medical journals about partial birth abortion reporting on the outcomes of this procedure. Despite this gross departure from ordinary medical standards, professional groups such as ACOG, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, have rallied to the defense of this procedure.


Sadly, having federal judges and medical elites shield a procedure in which a living baby's brains are sucked out of its cranium just before birth, in gross violation of normal norms of medical practice, to say nothing of human decency, is nothing new.  The abortion distortion is again at work, jettisoning truth in its coverup of the grim realities of partial birth abortion.