Thursday, August 05, 2004


NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 4 - To the panicked women who called the number for the Causeway Center for Women, listed in the phone book under "abortion services," William A. Graham was a soothing voice on the other end of the line.

What he offered sounded much better than an abortion clinic: a Saturday appointment with a private physician, in a hospital, at a bargain price. Besides, he warned them, abortion clinics regularly botched procedures and left women sterile.

But the women found it difficult to pin Mr. Graham down to a day and time. Week after week, they say, he would cancel their appointments, always reassuring them with calm explanations.

In a federal lawsuit, seven women now charge that Mr. Graham never intended to refer them for an abortion at all, but was merely stalling until it was too late....

Five of the women who sued Mr. Graham said in court affidavits that his tactics had forced them to carry their pregnancies to term, either because they had passed the legal time limit for abortions - generally at the end of the second trimester - or they could no longer afford an abortion, which tends to cost more later in a pregnancy.

One of the women already had a child with hemophilia who required constant care. Now she has two. "I also did not want to bring another severely ill child into this world or be in the position where I am unable to give my children the full care and attention they need," she wrote in an affidavit under the name Jane Doe No. 4....

--New York Times

What a prince. And just in case you think this is exclusively about abortion, there's this little nugget:

In 2002, Mr. Graham enrolled in the state's anti-AIDS condom distribution program, picked up 30,000 free condoms and discarded them. He pleaded guilty to theft and is on probation.

(For the record, New Orleans has 12th-highest AIDS rate of America's 100 largest cities, or at least it did as of 2000.)

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