Tuesday, March 09, 2004
Abortion and the law: Last Friday, a federal judge in San Francisco (surprise!) rejected a Justice Department request for edited medical records as they attempt to defend the Partial Birth Abortion Ban that was passed by Congress last year.
As I mentioned last month, the point of the records request is to prove that partial-birth abortion is never medically necessary.
If these records showed medical necessity, then you can bet that Planned Parenthood would be pushing to use them (with names and other identifying information removed) in the lawsuit.
Instead, it appears as though Planned Parenthood is going to put on abortionists who will testify that it is medically necessary. The government will put on doctors who will testify that it is never medically necessary.
In short, it will be a "who do you trust?" case.
If Planned Parenthood has evidence (i.e. the medical files) that is relevant to the case, then the government's interest in defending the law should trump any privacy concerns -- especially with identifying information removed.
Let's flip this around.
Some abortion opponents have posited that there is a connection between abortion and increased incidence of breast cancer.
Does anyone think that a San Francisco judge or Planned Parenthood lawyers would be denied if, in the context of a lawsuit, they demanded access to the medical data that supports their hypotheses?