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Health risks tied to partial-birth ruling

July 30, 2007 at 2:01 PM

DETROIT, July 30 (UPI) -- Several U.S. health officials argued that the passage of the Partial Birth Abortion Act is forcing more dangerous procedures to occur.

Health officials through agencies like Michigan's WomanCare have pointed out that since the U.S. Supreme Court passed the act, they have been forced to use medical procedures that make abortions increasingly risky and painful, The Detroit News said Monday.

WomanCare medical director Alberto Hodari said that health officials are being forced to do additional procedures to ensure they follow the act's strict guidelines. Among these more risky procedures is the use of digoxin medication that ensures the fetus is not alive at the time of removal, as per the act's guidelines.

Prior to the act's passage, many abortion clinics only used a natural medication known as laminaria to dilate a woman's cervix for the procedure.

Hodari told the newspaper that such added procedures not only are more painful for patients but place them at undue risk.

"It was much simpler and much less dangerous than what we are doing now," Hodari said. "But this is now the law. It's awful. It's unnecessary. It's dangerous."

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