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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Ms. Magazine's Jessica Stites: "Putting a face on [the] Supreme Court decision"

Not playing around

From Ms. Magazine's Jessica Stites:

Today's ruling upheld Bush's ban on the D&X (dilation & extraction)
abortion procedure. Its language, however, is vague enough to
potentially outlaw D&E (dilation and evacuation), the procedure used
in 95% of post-first trimester abortions. No exception was provided
for the health of women.

But what does that mean in real-life terms?

One answer comes from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Martha

Mendoza, who in 2004 learned that her 19-week-old fetus was dead in
her womb. Even then — just months after the ban was first passed -- it
was already becoming difficult to find a doctor willing and able to
perform a D&E. Martha Mendoza tells of her struggle to find one in her
lucid, heart-wrenching Summer 2004 Ms. essay "Between a Woman
and her Doctor":

"...I'd been through labor and delivery three times before, with great joy as well as pain, and the notion of going through that profound experience only to deliver a dead fetus (whose skin was alreadystarting to slough off, whose skull might be collapsing) was horrifying.
I also did some research, spoke with friends who were obstetricians
and gynecologists, and quickly learned this: Study after study shows
D&Es are safer than labor and delivery. Women who had D&Es were far
less likely to have bleeding requiring transfusion, infection
requiring intravenous antibiotics, organ injuries requiring additional
surgery or cervical laceration requiring repair and hospital

A review of 300 second- trimester abortions published in 2002 in the

American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology found that 29 percent of
women who went through labor and delivery had complications, compared
with just 4 percent of those who had D&Es.

... [But] the years of angry debate that led to the passage [of the

2003 abortion procedure ban], restrictive state laws and the violence
targeting physicians have reduced the number of hospitals and doctors
willing to do dilations and evacuations (D&Es) and dilations and
extractions (intact D&Es), which involve removing a larger fetus,
sometimes in pieces, from the womb.

... After examining me and confirming I was bleeding but not

hemorrhaging, the attending obstetrician, obviously pregnant herself,
defensively explained that only one of their dozens of obstetricians
and gynecologists still does D&Es, and he was simply not available.

Not today. Not tomorrow. Not the next day."

Read the article in full

- posted by Jen

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