Saturday, March 20, 2004

The Big Chill

Federal Judge Richard Conway Casey has ordered New York-Presbyterian Hospital to turn over to the Justice Department records on abortions performed there, thus giving Attorney General John Ashcroft a victory in his contention that there is no constitutional right to privacy in one's medical records.

Meanwhile, federal judges in Chicago and San Francisco have refused in recent weeks to order clinics and hospitals to turn over the abortion records sought by the Justice Department. Because of these conflicting interpretations, the matter is bound to end up in the Supreme Court.

Ashcroft is seeking the records to defend the so-called "Partial Birth Abortion" Ban, passed by Congress and signed by the president late last year. Doctors working at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, among others, sued to stop the law from going into effect, so their hospitals are being targeted by this fishing expedition. (New York Times story here ... requires free registration)

But cheer up! George W. Bush is protecting our liberties, our freedom, our right to preemptively invade small countries who irritate us.

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