Democrat to Obama: Don’t Pick Pro-Abortion Sanjay Gupta as Surgeon General

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 9, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Democrat to Obama: Don’t Pick Pro-Abortion Sanjay Gupta as Surgeon General

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 9
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Barack Obama is facing opposition from an ironic source. Pro-abortion Rep. John Conyers, a black Democratic congressman from Michigan, is opposed to the incoming president potentially picking pro-abortion CNN reporter Sanjay Gupta as his Surgeon General.

Conyers is taking the lead in an effort to get Obama not to appoint Gupta, who CNN has confirmed has been approached about the position. He has contacted members of the House and Senate to urge opposition to Gupta.

He believes Gupta doesn’t have the experience necessary to serve as the nation’s leading physician.

“It is not in the best interests of the nation to have someone like this who lacks the requisite experience needed to oversee the federal agency that provides crucial healthcare assistance to some of the poorest and most underserved communities in America,” Conyers said in a letter to colleagues.

Even though the Surgeon General does not make health care policy, Conyers says Gupta would be the face of Obama’s policies.

Conyers also says he opposes Gupta because Gupta opposes universal health care coverage and he has raised those concerns with pro-abortion Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

On the other hand, Gupta has the backing of Jocelyn Elders, the radically pro-abortion Surgeon General under President Bill Clinton.

"I think Dr. Gupta has been out there working very hard trying to communicate with the American people. I think he would be an excellent communicator," she said.

For pro-life advocates, Gupta is a concern because evidence points to him having a pro-abortion position.

Gupta has been accused of supporting abortions for disabled unborn children, opposing protections for pro-life medical professionals, and denying the risks associated with the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug.

In a December report for CNN, Gupta appeared to join abortion advocates in condemning the Bush administration for approving new regulations that offer more protections for doctors and medical centers not wanting to be involved in abortions.

Gupta’s report appeared more like an editorial and stressed the concerns pro-abortion groups laid out about the plan.

“…[I]t’s a bit of a slippery slope. I mean, when you say, I’m not going to provide care based on my own conscience…you can imagine that opens up a whole wide range of possibilities, in terms of what is going to be treated and what is not," Gupta said.

To Matthew Balan, a writer for the Media Research Center, a media watchdog group, Gupta’s report made it clear he opposed the pro-life regulations.

"Gupta began the report … by immediately trying to cast doubt on the need for the new regulation from the HHS," Balan wrote, adding that Gupta made it so "CNN sided against the expansion of health care workers’ right to not participate in controversial medical procedures like abortion."

Meanwhile, Dave Shiflett, in a November 2003 column for National Review, said Gupta mirrored the views of a CNN news story on abortion and Down syndrome babies.

Shiflett accused CNN of reporting on a new prenatal test that can detect the presence of Down Syndrome and saying the greatest benefit of it is that it gives "mothers-to-be more peace of mind and more time to end a pregnancy."

He said that pro-abortion view was "a position shared by on-air medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta."

Shiflett talked about a friend who wrote to Gupta and condemned his saying that mothers should consider an abortion when confronted with a disabled unborn child.

"This presumption that early detection of a disability would naturally lead a mother to terminate her pregnancy smacks of a ‘modest proposal’ mentality," the letter noted. "Heretofore, I was not aware that CNN was in the business of editorializing on such grave social policy implications."

Shiflett said Gupta’s position in favor of "weeding out the ‘unfit’ otherwise inconvenient — a practice once known as eugenics — is standard
operating procedure."

Finally, in a September 2003 news report, Gupta denied that the dangerous abortion drug mifepristone resulted in the death of California teenager Holly Patterson.

Gupta said authorities "don’t know" if the abortion drug killed Patterson.

"There have been two particular cases, where women have died after taking the pill, although their deaths were never conclusively linked to the pill itself."

In fact, 14 women who have used the abortion drug have died to this point and 1,100 women in the United States alone have faced complications — with some so serious they required hospitalization or blood transfusions.

"The track record is pretty good," Gupta said of the abortion drug, comparing the problems associated with it to a natural miscarriage.

Gupta has also been criticized for serving as a health policy advisor during the Clinton administration to Hillary Clinton, whose massive national health care plan contained a provision calling for taxpayer-funded abortions.

His potential nomination as Surgeon General would require Senate confirmation.

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