Baltimore Sun Beats Washington Post in Covering Carhart Abortion Expansion

State   |   Ken Shepherd   |   Dec 1, 2010   |   4:01PM   |   Washington, DC

Three weeks ago, the Washington Post reported on the front page of its November 10 Metro section that a “Nebraska doctor who is one of the few in the country to perform abortions late in a pregnancy said Wednesday that he would open new clinics in Iowa and the Washington area.”

At the time, Carhart refused to disclose where he would open his D.C.-area clinic, but said that it would be in a jurisdiction that was favorable to abortion.

“The laws are more favorable in these other jurisdictions, and we’re going to do the maximum the law allows,” Carhart told the Washington Post.

Stein filed an 8-paragraph follow-up story in today’s Post, having received new information from an abortion clinic official that Carhart would be joining that clinic, based in Germantown, Md. That follow-up story, however, was buried at the bottom of page 10 of the paper’s December 1 Metro section.

While Stein did feature both a quote from a clinic representative and a quote from an Operation Rescue statement, the Post staffer didn’t alert readers to the fact that Carhart’s lawyers have twice been before the Supreme Court defending the partial-birth abortion procedure in which a partially-delivered baby’s skull is punctured, the brain suctioned out and skull collapsed before the head is delivered.

In the first case, decided in 2000, the Court struck down as unconstitutional a Nebraska law barring partial-birth abortion. Seven years later, the Court upheld a federal ban on the procedure.

For its part, the Baltimore Sun’s coverage of the story also brought to readers’ attention the fact that [emphasis mine]:

Carhart’s move to Maryland comes amid an investigation into the practices of a New Jersey doctor, Steven C. Brigham, whom authorities ordered in August to stop practicing medicine in the state after it was revealed he was having patients drive from New Jersey to perform late-term abortions on them in Maryland, where Brigham had no medical license.

One of those patients suffered a ruptured bowel and uterus during a botched abortion by Brigham and his Maryland colleague Nicola I. Riley in August, and had to be transported by helicopter to Johns Hopkins Hospital for emergency surgery.

Riley’s license was suspended in August, and the Maryland Board of Physicians last week revoked the license of another of Brigham’s colleagues, George Shepard, Jr., for practicing medicine with Brigham in the state.

Local opponents of abortion said the Brigham case and Carhart’s move here indicate that Maryland’s less restrictive regulations have made it a hub for doctors wanting to perform late-term abortions in a more lax environment. Note: Ken Shepherd is the managing editor for NewsBusters and a former analyst at the Media Research Center who identifies examples of media bias. This originally appeared on NewsBusters.