Patterico's Pontifications


Nina Totenberg Gets It Wrong on Partial-Birth Abortion

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:53 pm

Nina Totenberg (at 1:49 at this link):

The procedure that abortion opponents call “partial-birth” is done almost always in the second trimester of pregnancy, when the fetus is not yet viable, and most are done this late because of the mother’s serious health conditions, or grave fetal anomalies.

Nonsense. Let’s hear from leftist Franklin Foer:

Last fall, both the Washington Post and the Bergen Record ran front-page stories asserting that pro-choice groups underestimate the number of “intact dilation and extraction” (IDE) [partial-birth abortion] procedures, to use the medical term, that are performed. . . . [T]he Bergen Record’s Ruth Padawer showed that one clinic in Englewood, N.J., had performed 1,500 IDEs in 1994. That is 1,000 more than pro-choice groups claimed had been performed in the entire country. After interviewing doctors who perform the procedure, both papers concluded that only in very few instances was the IDE actually necessary to protect the woman’s health. Most of them were performed on poor women who could not muster the money to pay for abortions earlier in their pregnancies.

What Foer calls “IDE” is “intact dilation and extraction” — the same procedure that others call “IDX,” that the Supreme Court calls “D&X” — and that rest of us call “partial-birth abortion.”

Now read the following quote from leftist David Savage of the L.A. Times:

Only 1% to 2% of abortions take place after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Of these, about 3,000 to 5,000 per year are done with D&X [partial-birth abortion]. Doctors say only a small percentage of those are done because of medical complications or fetal deformity.

In the above quotes, Franklin Foer and David Savage (both leftists) have no motive to lie to hurt the argument for partial-birth abortion. But Nina Totenberg, a leftist, has every reason to distort the facts to help that argument.

Don’t be fooled.

4 Responses to “Nina Totenberg Gets It Wrong on Partial-Birth Abortion”

  1. As our entire society becomes increasingly focused on self instead of society the murder of “unborn” infants because they are inconvenient to the “lifestyle” of the mother is less and less an issue.

    Abortion early and late term has been the policy of every elite in every wealthy society just before the fall. The Greeks, Romans, and now America. Babies interfere with the sacred ability to make as much money as possible, therefore: kill the kid.

    Howard Veit (28df94)

  2. Foer’s article is nearly 10 years old, documenting a single 12-year-old data point. Savage’s assertion is undocumented.

    This is the basis for Patterico’s claim that Totenberg “gets it wrong”? To claim that she is acting in bad faith?


    [Totenberg’s is undocumented and fits her leftist views. Savage’s is undocumented and goes against his. Foer’s is not a single data point. Had croche bothered to read the article, he would have noted that it documents TWO stories in TWO different papers, and notes, with specifics, that “Abortion practitioners have publicly admitted the same for years.” All this from the leftist Foer, who has every motive to say otherwise. — Patterico]

    m.croche (85f703)

  3. Babies interfere with the sacred ability to make as much money as possible, therefore: kill the kid.

    No, you’re wrong, Howard. It’s not a kid at all, it’s just a mass of living tissue. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

    *Sigh* I wish I were a Supreme Court reporter and could just pull facts out of my ass which oh-so-conveniently help support my case. Damn that Rule 11!

    Linus (c376df)

  4. Nina Totenburg is responsible for broadcasting the most outrageous calumnies against Clarance Thomas during his SCOTUS hearing. She made sure unsubstantiated allegations got nationwide coverage and were discussed as revealed truth, while his every defense was given short shrift, ridiculed, or questioned ad nauseam.

    Totenburg has zero credibility. She’s a megaphone for the far left, paid for by public funding, and wouldn’t hesitate to push an obviously bogus point of view if it suited her Leftist agenda.

    If Totenburg has a commitment to facts, it comes after her Leftist sympathies. Her attempt to minimize the brutality of infanticide above is typical of her radical feminist brand of agenda journalism.

    mokus (56972e)

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