- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Tracking numbers

Michael Fumento’s Commentary column Monday, “Partial birth ban wailers,” misrepresents findings from the Alan Guattmacher Institute’s most recent survey of health professionals and facilities providing abortions in the United States. Contrary to Mr. Fumento’s intimation that the number of dilation and extraction (D&X) procedures, estimated at 3,000 to 5,000 in 1997, was on the rise, AGI found that 2,200 D&X procedures were performed in 2000, which represents less than two-tenths of one percent (0.17 percent) of all abortions that year.

In addition, it is inappropriate to equate D&X procedures with “partial-birth abortion,” as Mr. Fumento’s article does. AGI did not collect information on “partial-birth abortions” — nor does anyone — because there is no accepted medical definition for the term. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down Nebraska’s ban on “partial-birth abortions” because it covered “a much broader category of procedures,” including the most common pre-viability second-trimester method, dilation and evacuation.


BETH FREDRICK

Vice president

Communications and development

The Alan Guttmacher Institute

New Yor3

Dirty deals on judges

This is outrageous. If your article “Hatch offers Democrats deal on stalled judges” (Page 1, yesterday) is correct, this is a good way for Sen. Orrin G. Hatch to anger Republicans. What a traitorous thing to do.

If the Republicans would do the courageous thing and stand firm against the Democrats’ blocking of President Bush’s nominees, “blackmail” tactics wouldn’t have to go on behind the scenes. How ridiculous — negotiating to get the results that every right-minded American knows should be a no-brainer. Every single time the Republicans can take charge because they are in charge, they retreat and allow the minority party to dictate the rules or make brand-new ones to accommodate their agenda.

The Republican Party is fond of saying the Democrats “just don’t get it” when it comes to what the American people want. Well, I submit that both parties are guilty of not getting it. One way or another, they will be held accountable for misjudging their constituents’ wants and needs or, worse, acting flagrantly to bypass the wishes of the average American citizen.

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