Lessons from Germany When Abortions Became Too Severely Restricted

Scott Swenson

Linda Hirshman has a must read article in Sunday's Washington Post that looks at the consequences of societies that restrict abortion rights too severely, as Americans sit on the threshold of an election that will determine the fate of Roe v. Wade.

Linda Hirshman has a must read article in Sunday’s Washington Post that looks at the consequences of societies that restrict abortion rights too severely, as Americans sit on the threshold of an election that will determine the fate of Roe v. Wade.

News Abortion

Legalizing Medical Malpractice: Do Doctors Lie To Stop Patients From Getting Abortions?

Robin Marty

Do doctors really deceive their patients in order to "protect the child" from an abortion? As Michelle Goldberg writes in the Daily Beast, yes.

Kansas is just the latest state that would not only requires doctors to lie to their patients about disproven health risks from abortion, but would also protect doctors from culpability or medically liability when they purposefully withhold information from a patient they suspect may terminate a pregancy.

But do doctors really deceive their patients in order to “protect the child” from an abortion? As Michelle Goldberg writes in the Daily Beast, yes.

Cases in which doctors deliberately deceive their patients to stop them from getting abortions aren’t common, but they do happen. Abbott Brown, a lawyer who has been trying wrongful-birth cases for 34 years, says he had one case in which an anti-abortion family doctor overseeing a woman’s pregnancy never performed an ultrasound; the child was born without arms. Speaking to The Washington Post in 2009 after the murder of George Tiller, a doctor who performed late-term abortions, his colleague LeRoy Carhart described a case in which a woman learned, very late in her pregnancy, that her fetus had no brain. “Her doctor knew the problem all along but just never told her,” he said.

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Lying to patients not only hurt parents who would terminate a pregnancy gone wrong, but also those who would continue a pregnancy but need early intervention to ensure that any special needs are met during the pregnancy or at the moment of birth.

Morning Roundup: Tiller Investigation Continues

Beth Saunders

Continuing investigation into Dr. Tiller's murder; tests for eclampsia; more women giving birth early; Nebraska tries to prevent the spread of telemedicine; and a few commentaries on MTV's No Easy Decision.

Happy New Year, and welcome back to the morning roundup! Lots of news out there this morning, including a continuing investigation into Dr. Tiller’s murder, tests for eclampsia, more women giving birth early, Nebraska tries to prevent the spread of telemedicine, and a few commentaries on MTV’s No Easy Decision.

  • A federal investigation in Wichita, Kansas, continues as the Justice Department determines whether Scott Roeder, who murdered Dr. George Tiller as he greeted patrons at a Lutheran church, acted alone or if he was part of a larger conspiracy of violence against those who provide abortions. Members of Roeder’s Bible study group have been interviewed in recent weeks.
  • Researchers in Canada believe they have found tests that can predict which women who develop pre-eclampsia, a dangerous pregnancy condition of high blood pressure and protein in the urine, will go on to develop eclampsia, which can cause seizures, coma and death.
  • The number of women who give birth early without medical reason has gone up in the past twenty years, and not without harmful effects on some infants. According to the article, “of all births between 1990 and 2006, the number of babies born at 36 weeks increased by about 30 percent, and babies born at 37 and 38 weeks rose more than 40 percent.”
  • Lawmakers in Nebraska, fearing the spread of telemedicine abortions from Iowa, will introduce legislation that would prevent the distribution and prescription of RU-486 via webcam. Kyle Carlson of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, which uses the practice in Iowa, said, “To make an argument that telemedicine is unsafe because the physician is not present is not an attack on abortion, it’s an attack on telemedicine.”
  • Did you catch MTV’s special on teens who choose abortion, No Easy Decision? Here are a few select perspectives on the show. Choosing abortion: Moral decision making on MTV, by Frances Kissling; How groundbreaking was MTV’s abortion special? by Melissa Maerz; MTV’s ’16 and Pregnant’ exploits teen moms but addresses abortion with dignity, by Sarah Seltzer and MTV’s Truths Vs. Antichoice Lies by Amanda Marcotte.

Dec 24