There was an interesting debate on PBS Newshour last night about PBA, between two physicians. The utter ineffectiveness of the woman opposing the ban only cemented my view on this subject. Below, some examples...
GWEN IFILL: Dr. Cook, as a practicing physician, what is the practical impact for you on the law that was signed today?
DR. CURTIS COOK: I think for people that practice my type of medicine, maternal fetal medicine, just taking care of complicated pregnancies, we've never felt the need to utilize this particular procedure for any of the patients we take care of, even the most complicated cases.
So it won't impact my practice. There are, however, what I would consider to be rogue physicians out there performing this procedure that will no longer be able to do what we think is a heinous act against children that are just literally inches from delivery.
When Gwen Ifill tried to pin the pro-abortion doctor down on when this would be necessary, in her professional opinion, all she got was some evasive hemming and hawing:
GWEN IFILL: When the procedure we agree occurs sometimes, whether it's 1 percent of the time or more, when is that necessary is what I'm trying to get at?
DR. PAULA HILLARD: That clearly depends on the individual situation. And individual situations in medicine vary widely. I cannot predict what that situation might be. One could talk about situations in which it has been. But the issue is that individual women are unique.
And the best person to make a decision about what is most appropriate for that woman in her situation for her health is her physician. An in fact, this law contains absolutely no provision that would be an exception for the woman's health. So that is another major problem with this law.
DR. CURTIS COOK: [...]There's no demonstration anywhere in any medical literature or any expert's testimony that this procedure in any way enhances or protects a woman's health versus any other procedure.
And in fact there is evidence that it potentially endangers a woman's health not only during that pregnancy but potentially future fertility with the massive over dilatation of the cervix that's involved in this procedure.
These are done predominantly on healthy babies and healthy mothers. Every medical expert that has testified has said the same thing. Even pro abortion advocates including the national director of abortion providers has admitted that. These are done predominantly on healthy mothers and healthy babies.
There was no denial of any of this from the other doctor, look for yourself:
Her only real argument, if you could call it that, was apparent when Ifill gave her the last word:
GWEN IFILL: I have to get back to Dr. Hillard and ask you to respond what happens if the Supreme Court overturns this.
DR. PAULA HILLARD: I think that there will be other attempts to limit abortion in the future. I think that the huge problem in the law is the lack of an exception for the woman's health and once again I would bring us back to the issue of the government getting between the relationship between an individual woman and her physician who is making a judgment based on his or her experience and expertise as to what is the best medical recommendation for an individual woman given her own medical and other circumstances.
Note the "other circumstances"--she's unable to provide any example of a medical reason to have this done (other than finding a doctor who is willing to do it and say it is for nebulous "health reasons"), and here at the end is kind of slipping in an admission that it is not necessarily done for reasons of health. And she's worried about a "slippery slope" toward a total abortion ban, so is trying to hold the line.
I honestly think a lot of people who argue the other side, and say things like "this is done under awful circumstances, and is a horrible choice, blah blah blah", are sincere. They have been hoodwinked--but there's clearly no substance there, when you get down to a medical debate between physicians. Either that, or Dr. Hilliard is the worst representative NARAL and friends could have possibly come up with.