As associate counsel in the Clinton administration, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan rewrote a report by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology to strengthen its recommendation that partial-birth abortion remain legal, reports WND columnist Jill Stanek today.
A ban on the procedure, which kills a baby partially emerged from the birth canal by crushing its skull, was performed on pregnant women in the late stages of development until 2003 when both houses of Congress, in bipartisan fashion, overwhelmingly voted to ban it. Congress had twice banned the procedure during the Clinton administration, but the president vetoed the bills both times. In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ban as constitutional.
As Stanek reveals in her column today, the ob-gyn group issued findings in 1996 to bolster the Clinton administration’s opposition to the ban, but they were rewritten by Kagan, a lawyer, in an apparent effort to make them more persuasive.
“Documents released from the Clinton library show ACOG inexplicably (because no one from ACOG will now respond to press inquiries for an explanation) submitted its draft unhelpful opinion of partial-birth abortion for review to the White House in the face of a ban being proposed in Congress and then changed it to suit Clinton’s proabortion agenda,” Stanek writes.
However, a select panel convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under which this procedure, as defined above, would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman. Notwithstanding this conclusion, ACOG strongly believes that decisions about medical treatment must be made by the doctor, in consultation with the patient, based upon the woman’s particular circumstances.
“In other words, ACOG found no exceptional reason for partial-birth abortion’s existence,” Stanek writes. “Legalized abortion could get along just fine without it. Nevertheless, in ACOG’s curious opinion, partial-birth abortion should remain legal.”
Kagan wrote in a White House memo that the findings “would be a disaster.”
Kagan then offered a revision that was accepted by the ob-gyn group.
Here are the edits Kagan gave ACOG (click to enlarge):
Kagan’s suggestion on the key point of contention read:
An intact D & X, however, may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman …
The final version of ACOG’s January 1997 statement used Kagan’s language verbatim:
A select panel convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under which this procedure, as defined above, would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman. An intact D & X, however, may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman, and only the doctor, in consultation with the patient, based upon the woman’s particular circumstances can make this decision.
Stanek concludes Kagan “has demonstrated she doesn’t let reason, facts, medicine or science stand in the way of her proabortion ideology.”