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Saletan: The Issue That Never Went Away

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Quetzal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:22 PM
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Saletan: The Issue That Never Went Away
The Issue That Never Went Away

Tens of thousands of people are expected to descend on Washington today for the first major abortion-rights march in more than a decade. With chants and placards, they will warn that Roe v. Wade is at risk. Most Americans have heard this alarm so many times that they've tuned it out. They can't imagine going back to a world in which women's medical records are introduced at trials of doctors to determine whether the abortions they performed were necessary.

But that world is already upon us. For months, in federal courts in several states, abortion has literally been on trial. The catalyst for these trials is the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which President Bush signed into law last fall. Abortion-rights supporters, citing a four-year-old Supreme Court ruling on a similar statute in Nebraska, argue that some of the procedures banned by the new law may sometimes be medically necessary. The Justice Department, citing Congressional "findings of fact" to the contrary, disagrees.

To prove its case, the Justice Department says it needs to look at the evidence: women's medical records. It has subpoenaed thousands of records related to abortions at six metropolitan hospital centers and six Planned Parenthood centers around the country. The subpoenas covered all second-trimester abortions involving medical complications or chemical injections into the womb. They also sought the name of every doctor who had performed an abortion at any of the hospitals.

Aren't such records private? Not according to the Justice Department. Its court filings claim that federal law "does not recognize a physician-patient privilege" and that patients "no longer possess a reasonable expectation that their histories will remain completely confidential." In some of these trials, judges have rejected these arguments. In others, judges have ordered hospitals to hand over the records. Last week, a New York hospital became the first to be fined for refusing to comply.

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The Issue That Never Went Away

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dweller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 09:42 PM
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1. . . .federal law "does not recognize a physician-patient privilege"
good, now Johnny, get your hypocritical ass after Rush Limpbutt for his criminal activity of purchasing mega doses of oxycontin and prove your point.

what's good for the goose..
dp

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Lindacooks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 10:16 PM
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2. This could backfire on them big time
What is the 'Justice' Department planning to do with this information? If they publish it, (or leak it) or try to prosecute, America might finally wake up about the evilness of the GOP.
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