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Tuesday, December 09, 2003
Some people don't understand plain English
He's been asked the question before. And Howard Dean told a Boston TV station, I did not perform abortions. I'm a medical doctor. Nor did my wife."

But that hasn't stopped the right-wing Cybercast News Service from running this smear as part of a "news story":

Yet, Dean's extensive ties to the Northern New England chapter of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., including his internship and work as a contract obstetrician/gynecologist at one of the group's Vermont clinics in the late 1970s and early 1980s, are producing more questions about the nature of that involvement at a time when Planned Parenthood was cementing its role as America's largest abortion provider.
A bit further down, we find that this is the handiwork of Ruth Dwyer, who ran unsuccessfully against Dean for governor of Vermont.
While admitting that she has no first-hand knowledge, Dwyer told CNSNews.com that, "I have a hard time believing [he did not ever perform an abortion], just knowing Howard." Dwyer ran unsuccessfully against Dean for governor in 1998 and 2000.
This is the same Ruth Dwyer who started the flap over Dean's sealed records by suggesting to Michael Isikoff of Newsweek that there were unsavory things hidden in them. She also at one point alleged that Dean was getting a free ride from Vermont's political reporters because they were all like him - Jews. (Dean, of course, is not Jewish, though his wife is. I have no idea about Vermont political reporters.)
But Judy Wechsler, a retired physician's assistant who worked with Dean in 1980 at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Burlington, Vt., said that since the facility where Dean worked did not offer abortion services, "that would not have been part of his clinical practice."

There are no facts in this story that would indicate that Dean was anything less than completely truthful when he said he had never performed an abortion, just unsubstantiated allegations. But facts don't seem to be terribly important in what looks very much like the first salvo of the general election campaign.

Your move, Howard. Go get 'em.

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