Salon Article on Sarah Palin and Hospital Abortions Leaves Out Half The Story

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 15, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Salon Article on Sarah Palin and Hospital Abortions Leaves Out Half The Story

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 15
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — The liberal Salon magazine released a news article on Monday attempting to dig up dirt on vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The article claims Palin was involved in an effort to stop abortions at a local hospital, but the Salon piece leaves out the rest of the story.

According to the Salon, Palin was involved in an effort by local pro-life advocates to persuade the board of Valley Hospital in Palmer, Alaska, to stop doing abortions.

Once the board agreed, local abortion advocate and physician Susan Lemagie filed suit against the hospital to force it to do abortions. The case ultimately went to the Alaska Supreme Court, which ruled the hospital must allow women to get abortions there.

Salon indicates that Palin was involved in a protest local pro-life advocates organized outside Lamagie’s office.

However, the magazine leaves out the rest of the story — about how hospital officials made their way to Washington to lobby for a measure to allow them to opt out of doing abortions.

It also does not mention how presidential candidate Barack Obama, and abortion advocacy groups that support him, opposes a new Bush administration proposal that would enforce those laws preventing hospitals from being forced to do abortions.

The debate over forcing the Alaska hospital to do abortions was part of a larger campaign by abortion advocates to force medical centers and medical personnel to do abortions.

In addition to the Palmer medical facility, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops cited a host of other attempts to force abortions.

"The ACLU of New Jersey intervened in a hospital merger in an attempt to force a Catholic hospital to build an abortion clinic," the group explained in 2004.

"In Florida, after a community hospital joined a cost-sharing consortium with a Catholic system and ceased performing abortions, it was sued by the city of St. Petersburg, which leased land to the hospital," the group added. "Soon the ACLU sued both the city and the hospital. Under the pressure of the lawsuits, the hospital left the cost-saving consortium."

And in New Mexico, a state board refused to approve a hospital lease to a medical facility that refused to perform abortions.

Responding to this campaign, Congress approved and President Bush signed the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act, which protects hospitals, medical professionals and health insurance providers from being forced or perform or pay for abortions.

Recently, the Bush administration noticed the law is not being enforced consistently and it is considering a new policy revoking federal funds for those facilities that require doctors to do abortions or state or local government agencies that discriminate against places like Valley Hospital that don’t want abortions done on site.

Planned Parenthood, NARAL and other groups that support Obama are opposed to the measure.

Thus, while Salon appears to believe there is a problem with Palin and a local hospital opting out of doing abortions, it fails to cover how Obama backers are resisting efforts to protect such hospitals from being forced to do them.

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