John Ashcroft is defending the subpoenas his department has issued against a half-dozen hospitals, seeking the medical records of women who have had late-term abortions. No surprise there. But Ashcroft's blatant prejudice is instructive: "Mr. Ashcroft said the records were essential to the department's courtroom defense of a new law banning what he called 'the rather horrendous practice of partial-birth abortions.' ... Mr. Ashcroft told reporters that 'if the central issue in the case, an issue raised by those who brought the case, is medical necessity, we need to look at medical records to find out if indeed there was medical necessity.' "
In other words, if people want to fight our taking away their liberties, then we will subject them to other intrusive violations of their privacy.
"Representative Eliot L. Engel, Democrat of the Bronx, said, 'All Americans should have the right to visit their doctor and receive sound medical attention without the fear of Big Brother looking into those records.' "