Kagan Ignored Medical Group’s Opinion to Keep Partial-Birth Abortions Legal

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 11, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kagan Ignored Medical Group’s Opinion to Keep Partial-Birth Abortions Legal

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 11
, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Clinton presidential library today released tens of thousands of new memos authored by or mentioning Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. One in particular shows Kagan doing everything possible to provide strategy and political cover for former President Bill Clinton as he vetoed a partial-birth abortion ban.

The latest memo is particularly concerning because it has her going against a leading medical group that said it found no medical reason for a woman to have a partial-birth abortion.

During the heat of the debate in the 1990s, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said an expert panel it commissioned could find no medical reason why the partial-birth abortion procedure would ever be used to protect a woman’s life or health.

Still, Clinton said he would not sign a ban on the three-day-long abortion procedure that involves the partial birth of an unborn child and the gruesome destruction of the baby’s life by jabbing medical scissors into its skull unless it contained a health exception for women.

Kagan, in a December 14, 1996 memo, appeared to be upset that ACOG couldn’t find any justification for Clinton’s position.

“This, of course, would be disaster — not the less so (in fact, the more so) because ACOG continues to oppose the legislation,” she said of the inability to discern a medical reason for the second-trimester abortion procedure.

Kagan also appears to suggest manipulating ACOG’s statement to support Clinton’s position.

Notes in Kagan’s handwriting list “suggested options” for modifying the ACOG position statement including having the Clinton administration claiming a partial-birth abortion "may be the best or most appropriate” option.

That language made its way in the final version of the ACOG statement released about the ban along with the original language found by the panel of medical experts.

Ben LaBolt, an Obama White House spokesman, deflected questions about the memo, saying, “He supported a late-term abortion ban with a narrow exception for the health of the woman."

The memo also has Kagan lamenting how pro-life advocates were winning the battle on the partial-birth abortion debate with the American public.

“The politics of it have become too good” for pro-life advocates and the partial-birth abortion debate “gives them a wedge into pre- viability abortions."

Douglas Johnson, the legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, responded to a LifeNews.com request for comment.

"The newly released memos show that Elena Kagan worked hard and effectively to prevent enactment of the ban on partial-birth abortions, even though she understood very well that partial-birth abortion was not truly necessary to prevent physical injury to mothers," he said.

"The December 14, 1996 memo shows that when Kagan learned that even ACOG, a medical society with a pro-abortion policy position, was prepared to admit that partial-birth abortion was never the only option to preserve a mother’s health, Kagan’s reaction was one of dismay," he continued.

Johnson said Kagan’s dismay was not that "partial-birth abortions were being performed on healthy babies of healthy mothers, but dismay at the political effects that ACOG’s admission would have on the effort to keep partial-birth abortion legal."

As other prior memos show, Kagan recommended that Clinton endorse the substitute bill that had been crafted by pro-abortion Senator Tom Daschle to "provide cover for pro-choice Senators" and thereby block the real ban.

"The bottom line: thousands of additional babies were mostly delivered alive and then stabbed through the back of the head, because Elena Kagan fully employed her talents and position of influence in a successful effort to block the ban on partial-birth abortion," Johnson said.

Meanwhile, a Kagan memo dated June 22, 1996 said she would send the taking points to the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s re-election campaign and another staffer wrote back that the White House couldn’t do talking points for the DNC and the campaign.

“Of course you’re right,” Kagan replied, realizing her error. “I will make sure the talking points get more general use or aren’t done at all.”


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