Senate To Vote On Late-Term Abortion Ban (5/15/97)
Behind The Abortion Debate (5/15/97)
AMA Recommends Alternatives To So-Called 'Partial Birth' Abortions
CHICAGO (AllPolitics, May 14) -- In a report to its delegates, the American Medical Association (AMA) recommends an alternative to the controversial medical procedure known by its critics as "partial-birth" abortion.
A section of the 32-page report reads, "According to the scientific literature, there does not appear to be any identified situation in which intact D&X is the only appropriate procedure to induce abortion." Intact D&X, or dilation and extraction, is the medical term used by the AMA to describe the late-term abortion procedure.
The AMA recommends against intact dilation and extraction, unless alternative procedures pose a greater risk to the woman.
One alternative procedure is called "labor induction," in which a solution is injected into the amniotic fluid, ending the life of the fetus and inducing labor.
Other options include surgical removal of the fetus, and surgical removal of the uterus and fetus. The latter two methods are rarely used due to the significant medical risks they pose to the woman.
The AMA report goes on to say, "The physician must, however, retain the discretion" to decide what procedure is used. The AMA says in some rare cases, intact dilation and extraction is the safest method of late-term abortion.
The AMA report also recommends that "abortion not be performed in the third trimester except in cases of serious fetal anomalies incompatible with life."
This report, issued Saturday, comes at a time when the Congress is fighting over whether dilation and extraction abortions should remain legal, but a press officer for the AMA says there was no political motive in the timing of the report's release.
The American Medical Association is a non-profit organization representing approximately 300,000 physicians in the United States.
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