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Thursday, December 8, 2005
A Contradicted Contradiction
A Dec. 7 article by Dawn Rizzoni, regarding a woman who died after having an abortion, declares a siniser contradiction in its first paragraph. But that lead doesn't state that this claim of a contradiction is itself contradicted later in the story.

The article states that a "nine-month investigation by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, which determined that abortionist George Tiller was not responsible for Christin Gilbert's death, contradicted the results of Gilbert's autopsy."

Following this, Rizzoni advances charges of guilt-by-association cronyism and other hearsay attacks on Tiller and the Kansas Board of Healing Arts by anti-abortion activists and links to an anti-Tiller website that, among other things, insinuates that Tiller himself was responsible for a 1986 bombing of his clinic. It's not until the 15th paragraph that Rizzoni gets around to actually quoting someone on that board, executive director Larry Buening, which contradicts Rizzoni's assertion:

"A decision that is unpopular to a particular person or group does not indicate the existence of a hidden agenda or any bias," Buening added.

As for the autopsy's conclusion -- that Gilbert died due to "complications of a therapeutic abortion" -- Buening pointed out that as with any other autopsy report, this conclusion is listed under "opinion."

He also stated that the "investigative information was far more extensive than a copy of the autopsy.

"There are potential risks to every medical or surgical procedure," Buening explained. "The occurrence of a complication, even one that unfortunately and regrettably results in the death of a patient, does not a priori lead to the conclusion that the practitioner involved did not meet the appropriate standard of care."

Nothing in Rizzoni's article directly contradicts Buening's statements, despite all of the accusations she tosses around.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:00 AM EST

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