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Ginsburg's Wife Did 2 Abortions in Residency

November 02, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee Douglas H. Ginsburg's wife performed two abortions and assisted in a third while a medical resident but later "made a personal decision not to perform these kinds of operations," White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said today.

A Justice Department spokesman confirmed over the weekend that Dr. Hallee Perkins Morgan, wife of the Supreme Court nominee, performed abortions during medical training at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston.

Terry H. Eastland, the spokesman, said Dr. Morgan performed the procedures during her first year of residency in 1979-80 and agreed during the next year of training to assist on particularly difficult abortions. She has performed none since then, he said.

"She, like a number of doctors who have performed abortions, from her own experience, became persuaded that she did not want to do that any more," said Eastland.

Ginsburg was nominated last Thursday by President Reagan, an outspoken opponent of abortion.

'Not the Nominee'

Fitzwater noted that Morgan "is not the nominee."

Morgan is not now practicing. Eastland said he did not know if she now opposes abortions.

Eastland said he is unaware of Ginsburg's position on abortion.

Ginsburg married Morgan in May, 1981, two years after he was divorced from his first wife. The Ginsburgs have a 2-year-old daughter, Hallee Katherine Morgan, and he has a daughter by the previous marriage.

From her Chicago-area home, Phyllis Schlafly, president of the conservative, anti-abortion Eagle Forum, said she was surprised to learn that the nominee's wife had performed abortions and said she is concerned that nothing is known of Ginsburg's position on the subject.

Ginsburg's nomination is supported by the National Right-To-Life Committee. President Jack C. Willke said the support is based on secondhand information from Ginsburg's associates.

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