A federal judge turned down a request by John Ashcroft's Department of Justice for the medical records of 40 patients at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Citing Illinois' strict patient privacy laws, a federal judge told Justice Department lawyer's they would not be receiving the medical records of patients who had received abortions by Dr. Cassing Hammond before the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 was passed. Why does Ashcroft want these records? To find out if Dr. Hammond's claim that the women's health was jeopardized was true. Oh! Dr. Hammond also happens to be a participant in a New York lawsuit regarding the constitutionality of the ban.