Late-term abortion may be legal in some states, but a congressional committee is investigating the protocol of yet another abortionist who takes the lives of viable preborn babies. Warren Hern is infamous as one of the few doctors in the nation who will abort a baby late into the third trimester. Now the House Select Panel on Infant Lives has requested documents from him, and Hern is crying foul.
In a letter from Panel Chair, Marsha Blackburn, the Panel requests various documentation consistent with its investigation on fetal parts procurement business. The Panel’s purpose is to “gather information and get the facts about medical practices of abortion service providers and the business practices of the procurement organizations who sell baby body parts.” Thus, requesting Hern’s documentation is an appropriate task for the committee, as authorized by H. Res. 461; however, Hern says it’s a witch hunt.
In an article in Stat, Hern writes of Blackburn’s letter:
[O]ne week ago I received a chilling letter from Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), the most ferociously anti-abortion member of Congress, who chairs the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives.
The letter demanded that I submit a wide variety of documents, including patient medical records in cases of gestations greater than 22 weeks. I have until Nov. 21 to comply.
The panel is looking for evidence that I am selling “baby body parts.” It has the power of subpoena and can cite me for contempt of Congress if I don’t comply by the deadline.
It is frightening. It is a witch hunt.
I am a physician helping patients, and I am being treated like a criminal.
And despite the fact that the Panel was authorized in October of 2015, Hern manages to also blame President-elect Trump as the cause of what he sees as more trouble ahead for him in his line of work. Hern writes:
Something very profound in the meaning of the America I know has been destroyed with the election of Donald J. Trump as president… With Trump as president and the sworn enemies of abortion controlling both houses of Congress, I really wonder if I can leave the country for any purpose and be confident that I will be allowed to return. What if the Republicans won’t let me back into my own country? What happens to my life then?
It seems irrational, but the people now in charge of our national government are not rational people. They have expressed their hatred for the work I do for women. It doesn’t matter that I am a citizen and a physician. I feel that I am subject to hostile, unrestrained arbitrary power.
As a matter of fact, the infamous abortionist tips his hand of fear with a Republican administration at hand. He says (emphasis added):
But Trump’s election, combined with continuing control of the Congress by anti-abortion Republicans, ratchets up the threat to what we do to help women. It’s now higher than ever before. Trump can sign the most restrictive anti-abortion legislation with impunity. After he has replaced several sitting Supreme Court justices, Roe vs. Wade will be overturned, and we will all be at the mercy of even more conservative state legislatures.
This is profoundly discouraging to me, especially since I want to bring in a young doctor or two who can continue my important work when I cannot do it.
What can I tell a young physician about the future? Every day is a struggle for survival.
The tragic irony of his argument seems to be lost on Hern, the man who has aborted babies in the ninth month who, no doubt since they were viable, struggled to survive, as Hern asserts he must do as an abortionist….
At a deeper level, I have no confidence that Trump and the current Republican leadership will protect my life and liberty because of the work I do to help women. Their public harassment of me increases my risk of assassination.
Trump is a man who seems to care nothing for the protections of the Constitution, including civil rights and free speech.
What Hern conveniently ignores in his political insinuations is that the Panel letter was dated before the election, and is part of a committee that was formed more than a year before the election. The Panel investigation has nothing to do with Trump’s election or with Hern’s personal safety, but his level of fear for his career, he insists, has increased since the Republican administration was elected.
The request for information from Hern is the latest in a long series of investigations from the congressional panel, and will likely not be the last one. The Panel has been systematically looking at the implicated parties from the videos released in 2015 by the Center for Medical Progress. However, since Hern and others assert they are conducting business within the boundaries of the law, their documents should sufficiently show this. Hern appears to have doubts, however, since he says:
Under an unrestrained Donald Trump and this Republican Congress, I fear for my life, I fear for my family, and I fear for my future. I fear for my staff and my patients.
Even more, I fear for my country, and I fear for the world.
Why a late-term abortionist would suddenly fear for his life and his family’s life is unclear, since Hern’s career has spanned multiple Republican administrations. No laws have changed, and the Panel’s investigation will certainly show if laws have been broken in the abortion industry. If Hern is operating in compliance of the law, as he asserts, then he should not have any concerns about submitting his documentation to the Panel.