Pro-Abortion Groups: Supreme Court Pick Elena Kagan Not Pro-Abortion Enough
by Steven Ertelt
June 21, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Two pro-abortion groups issued tepid analysis of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan a week ahead of her scheduled confirmation hearings. The ACLU and Center for Reproductive Rights both say Kagan is pro-abortion but they do not have enough to go on to say for certain.
Their comments follow analysis from NARAL showing Kagan decidedly pro-abortion and from Americans United for Life and other pro-life groups saying she is too extreme to be approved.
The Center for Reproductive Rights, a New York-based legal group known for challenging pro-life state laws and promoting abortion as an international right, believes Kagan’s record is clear enough to see that she is pro-abortion.
But, it questions whether Kagan believes those rights are central and without limit.
CRR questioned a 1988 memo she wrote as a Supreme Court clerk saying elective abortions are not medically necessary.
Still Kagan appeared to update her view during the Clinton administration, when she ignored, and essentially manipulated an ACOG opinion saying partial-birth abortions were never necessary for the health of the mother.
CRR also questioned Kagan’s position on the partial-birth abortion ban, saying she supported a health exception that was too narrow for abortion advocates, even though pro-life groups opposed it because it would essentially keep all partial-birth abortions legal.
The ACLU report was more vague, saying it had a hard time assessing Kagan’s abortion views.
"The simple truth is that there is much that we do not know about Kagan’s views on the Constitution and the court," the ACLU’s report said. "The available record offers very few clues about her constitutional views on … a host of other recurring Supreme Court topics."
The ACLU also noted that Kagan urged President Clinton to support a phony ban on late-term abortions — that didn’t actually ban any abortions — as a means of political cover for vetoing the partial-birth abortion ban. The ACLU opposed the bill because it opposes any limits, however genuine or not, on abortion.
NARAL’s analaysis was more conclusive in terms of Kagan’s pro-abortion views.
"Elena Kagan’s writings indicate a respect for women’s freedom and privacy as defined by Roe v. Wade–and the writings are consistent with the pro-choice position adopted by the Clinton White House," NARAL said. "These writings show a mainstream view that the majority of Americans shares."
NARAL tries to make Kagan appear more moderate by showing how the Supreme Court initially struck down a Nebraska partial-birth abortion ban before ultimately upholding one Congress approved during the administration of President George W. Bush.
"In fact, the majority of Supreme Court justices agreed with Kagan until George W. Bush reconfigured the court with John Roberts and Samuel Alito," NARAL says.
The abortion advocacy group also claimed "Kagan is in the same company as the doctors from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists" even though she manipulated their opinion on partial-birth abortions.
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 Kagans 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.
NARAL concludes its new talking points promising, "We will work to ensure that she receives a fair hearing during which senators will ask questions about these issues. This includes setting the record straight when anti-choice senators and their allies start attacking her writings.
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