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July 7, 1999

The Law, the AMA, and Partial-Birth Abortion

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;282(1):23-27. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-1-jbk0707

To the Editor: For readers to understand how the AMA suddenly adopted a policy supporting the legislation against "partial-birth abortion" last year, they should know that the AMA hired the consulting firm Booz Allen & Hamilton.

Not surprisingly, the firm's report found that AMA leaders, bypassing proper decision-making processes, traded possible congressional support of more favorable Medicare payments for physicians in return for support of the abortion legislation then pending in Congress. The report1 indicates that AMA lobbyists were no match for the congressional traders.