The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a Justice Department demand for records on certain late-term abortions performed at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, saying releasing the records would compromise patient privacy. The Justice Department has subpoenaed several hospitals for records on abortions performed by physicians challenging the federal ban on "partial-birth" abortions. In most cases, the hospitals involved have moved to quash to subpoenas. The decision by the 7th Circuit -- the first time an appeals court has weighed in on the matter -- follows conflicting opinions from several trial courts around the country. The Justice Department says it wants the records, with all patient-identifying information removed, to test the physicians' claim that such abortions are sometimes medically necessary. -- by the Associated Press
Court backs privacy of hospital abortion records
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