The Magazine

Blood Brothers

From the October 11, 2004 issue: Why the leading practitioners of late abortion wrote checks to Kerry.

Oct 11, 2004, Vol. 10, No. 05 • By DOUGLAS JOHNSON
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In reality, however, Kerry has voted for unsuccessful measures to require that abortion be available even in the final three months of pregnancy for "health" reasons, which include emotional "health." Beyond that, it seems that Kerry would leave the definition of viability entirely in the hands of each abortionist. He cosponsored the Freedom of Choice Act in the early 1990s. This bill would have forbidden states to place restrictions on abortion until after "viability," with "viability" defined by the abortionist.

In short, Kerry has consistently supported enactment of federal statutes that would protect everything that Tiller does. But Tiller won't need the shield of such statutes if Kerry gets to pick Supreme Court justices.

WARREN HERN, between September 15, 2003, and June 25, 2004, made three contributions totaling $4,000 to two Kerry accounts, the maximum permitted by law.

Hern is the owner and director of the Boulder Abortion Clinic. Hern has developed refinements of various abortion methods, including the dismemberment procedures called "dilation and evacuation." In an early paper on such D&Es, he wrote, "There is no possibility of denial of an act of destruction by the operator. It is before one's eyes. The sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like an electric current."

According to the clinic's website (, it offers "outpatient elective abortion through 26 weeks." (Again, more than two-thirds of infants born at 26 weeks now survive long-term.)

Hern also offers abortions "up to 36 weeks"--that is, the end of the eighth month--when "medically indicated." Such very late abortions are often performed because of "fetal anomalies," but in a 1992 letter, Hern listed rape, incest, and "extreme youth" of the mother as examples of reasons for performing abortions "up to 34 menstrual weeks' gestation."

How compatible are John Kerry's views with those of Warren Hern? Kerry told ABC in July, "Let me tell you very clearly that being pro-choice is not pro-abortion . . . and I think we need to adhere to the standard that Bill Clinton, in fact, so adeptly framed, that abortion should be rare, but legal and safe."

Well, the term "pro-abortion" can surely be aptly applied to Hern, who wrote that pregnancy should be regarded not as a normal state but as an illness which "may be treated by evacuation of the uterus." Elsewhere he wrote that pregnancy is most appropriately compared to infestation by a parasite. He is a strong proponent of population control, who has written that population growth has made the human race itself an "ecotumor" or "planetary malignancy."

It wouldn't make much sense to say that an effective anti-parasite or anti-cancer treatment should be used only "rarely," so it might seem that Kerry and Hern have divergent views on this point.

But here too, Kerry's record says otherwise. Despite Kerry's adoption of Clinton's "adeptly framed" verbal formula that abortion should be "rare," Kerry has consistently voted in favor of making abortion an integral part of U.S.-funded population control programs. Indeed, Kerry has pledged that if elected president, he would use his very first executive order to overturn President Bush's policy of not funding private organizations that promote abortion in foreign nations.

"Abortions need to be moved out of the fringes of medicine and into the mainstream of medical practice," Kerry explained in 1994.

Early this year, Kate Michelman, the longtime president of the National Abortion Rights Action League, told the New York Times, "Even on the most difficult issues, we've never had to worry about John Kerry's position."

Like Kate Michelman, Doctors Haskell, Tiller, and Hern know their man.

Douglas Johnson is legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee ( Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, contributed essential research and documentation regarding Dr. George Tiller.

Correction appended, 10/5/04: "Blood Brothers" quoted Sen. John Kerry as telling Peter Jennings of ABC News in July, "I oppose abortion, personally. I don't like abortion. I believe life does begin at conception." Kerry actually made that statement weeks earlier to the Dubuque Telegraph Herald. Jennings asked Kerry to explain the statement.