Apparently more concerned with its political clout than the health and lives of women, the American Medical Association has ratified its Board’s earlier support of legislation which would ban the D&X procedure used in some late-term abortions. Dr. David Holley, an oncologist from Monterey, California told delegates, “You don’t make a deal and then welsh on it in your personal life, and you can’t afford to do that in the legislative arena. [By not backing the Board] we run the risk for the duration of the current congressional leadership of being ineffectual in influencing any issue that deals with health policy.” The group’s leaders were able to get the group to pass the endorsement of the ban largely on the notion that not passing the Board’s decision would undermine the group’s political credibility.
The 475-member House of Delegates eventually passed a compromise, which supported the Board but demanded that the legislation eliminate penalties against doctors. The legislation passed both the House and Senate, but failed to gain enough votes in the Senate to override a promised Presidential veto. The House must now vote on it again because the Senate made some changes to the bill. The legislation does not make an exception to allow the procedure if the health of the woman is at stake.