U. Michigan Has No Partial-Birth Abortion Records to Give to Bush Admin.
by Steven Ertelt
March 25, 2004
Detroit, MI (LifeNews.com) — Records of women who had partial-birth abortions at a University of Michigan hospital will not be released to the Justice Department because none of the records are relevant to the lawsuit filed against the federal ban on the abortion procedure, hospital officials said Thursday.
Two weeks ago, a federal judge ruled that the UM medical center must release records of patients who had partial-birth abortions so the Bush administration can defend the partial-birth abortion ban against three separate lawsuits filed by abortion advocates.
But UM hospital officials say none of the partial-birth abortion records it has meet the criteria set forth by Judge Avern Cohn.
The university hospital originally refused to provide the records, but Judge Cohn asked the university to provide him access to the records in order to determine if any of them could help the Justice Department prove that partial-birth abortions take place almost entirely on healthy mothers and healthy babies.
In their lawsuit against the ban, abortion advocates claim such abortions are necessary to protect a woman’s health.
The university turned over records that may have been relevant to Dr. Timothy Johnson, chair of the OBGYN department and a party to one of the three suits seeking to overturn the ban.
Johnson said he found no relevant cases in the records.
"Until Dr. Johnson was given leave by the court (to search the records), he was not sure if he had supervised any cases. He has now done a diligent search and has determined that he neither performed nor supervised any of the type of cases the government asked about," the university said in a statement, according to the Associated Press.
The trial in the lawsuit against the partial-birth abortion ban begins on Monday in New York. Two other trials in Omaha and San Francisco are also slated to begin next week.