American College of Pediatricians Statement against Partial Birth Abortion rejected by the NEJM

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The following is from the American College of Pediatricians Website. I found it quite by accident in looking for another link (unrelated).  This prestigious physicians group's objection to the Partial Birth abortion was never reported by the major news sources nor the fact that the New England journal of medicine rejected the following statement (offered as an opinion in opposition to several articles opposing the Supreme Court decision to uphold the partial birth abortion ban).

NEJM Opposes Supreme Court Decision

In a May 2007 issue, the New England Journal of Medicine published four articles condemning the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a ban on Partial Birth Abortion decision. The Board of Directors of the American College of Pediatricians submitted the following article offering an alternative point of view. It was promptly rejected by the editorial board.

Bias in Medical Journalism

As an organization that advocates for the child, we are delighted with the Supreme Court’s ruling in support of the legitimate role that the government has in protecting human life, in this particular case, in its most innocent form.

We have grave concerns about the political nature of four articles on partial birth abortion that were published in the May 24, 2007 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. 1,2,3,4 We are disappointed that the Journal solicited only articles that present one side of this issue, that these articles are the only ones available on-line to the general public, and that their release came so soon after the Supreme Court ruling to ban the procedure, thus demonstrating a biased political posture.

To indicate, as these articles do, that the Court’s decision to uphold the legal ban on this procedure is government practice of medicine, is distortion of the worst kind. In this case, the government is no more practicing medicine than it is when it mandates a vaccine, or sets up pay for performance “guidelines.”

The authors of the four letters/editorials in this edition of the Journal suggest that the dilation and extraction procedure (D&X, partial birth abortion) is necessary in some cases to preserve the life or health of the mother, yet not one single scenario is cited in which this would be necessary. In fact, when continuation of a pregnancy after 20 weeks gestation threatens the life or health of the mother (or of the infant), obstetricians routinely induce labor or perform a Cesarean section. This effectively ends the pregnancy in a way that is safer for both the mother and the infant.5

What of the argument that the D&X procedure is sometimes necessary to preserve the mental health of the pregnant woman? Though popular wisdom once considered mental illness and stress to be an indication for an induced abortion, recent studies have shown that induced abortion is a risk factor which exacerbates rather than ameliorates mental illness.6,7,8

Those who advocate for the choice of abortion fear that next to be banned will be the dilation and evacuation procedure (D&E), whereby the infant is dismembered and removed vaginally. This method is similar to the centuries-old execution method of drawing and quartering, often chosen for traitors just because it was so barbarous. As a civilized society, we should also welcome the banning of the D&E procedure.

Physicians who support the killing of any human, unborn (i.e., abortion) or living (i.e., euthanasia), do so against the essence of sound medical practice -- to do good; at least to do no harm.

We look forward to the time when every child will be protected in the womb regardless of the circumstances of his or her conception and regardless of any disabilities he or she may have. We also look forward to the day when no girl or woman will be subjected to the physical, mental, or emotional consequences of abortion.

June 2007
Board of Directors
American College of Pediatricians

1. Charo, RA. The Partial Death of Abortion Rights. N. Eng J Med 2007;356:2125-8.
2. Greene, MF. The Intimidation of American Physicians - Banning Partial-Birth Abortion. . Eng J Med 2007;356:2128-9.
3. Drazen, J. Government in Medicine. N. Eng J Med 2007;356:2195.
4. Annas, GJ. The Supreme Court and Abortion Rights. N. Eng J Med 2007;356:2201-7.
5. Retrieved from
6. Gissler M, Hemminki E, Lönnqvist J. Suicides after pregnancy in Finland, 1987-94: register linkage study. BMJ. 1996; 313:1431-4
7. Fergusson DM, Horwood LJ, Ridder EM. Abortion in young women and subsequent mental health. J. Child Psychol Psychiatry 2006; 47(1): 16-34
8. Broen AN, Moum T, Bödtker AS, Ekeber O. Psychological impact on women of miscarriage versus induced abortion: a 2-year follow-up study. Psychosom Med. 2005; 66:265-71