Above all are the profits from abortions themselves. The former Republican counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Manuel Miranda, recently observed that clinics derive an average of $1,000 for each abortion performed.
In its 2002-2003 annual report, Planned Parenthood reported a hefty operating gain of $36.6 million. At a time when companies are struggling to remain profitable, Planned Parenthood reported a 200 percent increase over the previous year's $12.2 million gain.
In a riveting interview, Miranda explained that the political fight over abortion is about "profits," not just "rights." The Democratic Party is increasingly dependent on contributions from abortionists and their allies to fund campaigns for federal office.
"The abortion clinics' lobby is an industry as large as any industry that lobbies in Washington," Miranda added. "What would be truly shocking to the American people is the profit motive that is involved."
Partial-birth abortions are likely the most profitable operation of all because much higher fees can be charged late in pregnancy, and a dead but nearly full-term baby can be exploited for body tissue and parts.
Disclosure of details about abortions, often performed at taxpayer-funded facilities, would allow the public to take a new look at this industry that profits from causing death.
"The Congress has enacted a law with the president's signature that outlaws this terrible practice," Ashcroft said in discussing the subpoenas. "We sought from the judge authority to get medical records to find out whether indeed the allegation by the plaintiffs, that it's medically necessary, is really a fact."
Yet Chief Judge Charles Kocoras of the U.S. District Court in Chicago, an appointee of former President Jimmy Carter, allowed Northwestern University to withhold the abortion records for a doctor-plaintiff operating at its facility, Dr. Cassing Hammond. A member of the faculty at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Hammond is one of those suing to overturn the ban on partial-birth abortions.
If Kocoras's ruling stands, then Ashcroft might move to prohibit Hammond from testifying. At any rate, the ongoing cover-up of partial-birth abortions cannot last.
U.S. District Judge Richard Conway Casey in New York, presiding over the lawsuit, ordered compliance with the medical record subpoenas.
"I will not - hear me out loud and clear - I will not let ... the doctors hide behind the shield of the hospital," he said at a hearing on the issue.
"Is that clear? I am fed up with stalls and delays," he told the abortion proponents. "The information relevant to this case will be produced. Otherwise, I will entertain whatever actions the government wishes to seek."
Disclosure of the information may prove to be the lawsuits' greatest influence. It is long overdue for the American people to learn the truth about the abortion industry.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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