Kliff then went on to dive into what the health exception is in federal case law and conceded that:
McCain is correct when he suggests that the law does not specify which conditions or complications should be included in the legal definition of what constitutes a threat to the mother's health. That decision is left up to the doctor.
In Doe v. Bolton -- another abortion case handed down the same day as Roe v. Wade -- the Supreme Court ruled that "medical judgment may be exercised in light of all factors--physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman's age--relevant to the wellbeing of the patient."
Although Kliff went on to quote a pro-life activist who argued that Doe's guidance is truly the exception that negates the rule, she concluded her story by insisting that pro-life voters may be turned off by the air quote gesture. In doing so, Kliff cited none other than pro-choice Democratic pollster Celinda Lake:
But McCain's unfortunate air quotes may take a bite out of his support among women. "People don't believe that doctors would use 'health' as some trumped-up excuse to perform an abortion," says Celinda Lake, a pollster with Lake Research Partners, which has done polling for pro-choice groups like EMILY's List and NARAL. She says that pro-life voters "take health seriously and want to see the health of women protected."
Opensecrets.org has a list of Lake's donations over the past few years, including a $1,500 to Joe Biden in 2007:
LAKE SNELL PERRY & ASSOCIATES/POLLS 2/12/07 $1,000 Biden, Joseph R Jr (D)
LAKE SNELL PERRY & ASSOCIATES/POLLS 3/31/07 $500 Biden, Joseph R Jr (D)