Pro-Life Group Says Kagan Gave Incomplete Abortion Testimony, Wants Probe
by Steven Ertelt
July 1, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A national pro-life legal group that has been closely monitoring the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Elena Kagan is calling for a Senate investigation. Americans United for Life says Kagan was not forthcoming during her testimony in telling lawmakers how she lobbied two organizations to change their opinion.
Kagan is under fire for pressuring the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to change its opinion on a ban on partial-birth abortions.
She wrote a memo as a member of the Clinton administration seeking to alter the opinion of ACOG’s medical experts who determined that there is never an instance in which the abortion procedure is necessary to protect the health of a woman.
But AUL says the Senate must investigate a "discrepancy" in Kagan’s testimony during the Supreme Court nominee’s Judiciary Committee hearing before taking further action on her nomination.
AUL says the problem is Kagan did not divulge how she also pressured the American Medical Association to alter its opinion that partial-birth abortions are medically unnecessary.
"The American people deserve to have all of the facts before their representatives consider a lifetime appointment to the nations highest court," Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest said in an email to LifeNews.com. "Evidence from Kagans time in the White House indicates that she may have been more involved in lobbying medical groups on partial-birth abortion than she admitted [Wednesday] under oath."
Kagan was questioned about those 1996 memos during Wednesday’s confirmation hearing by Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican who said he was "stunned by what appears to be a real politicization of science."
Yoest is heading to the Senate today to testify as a witness and she is expected to make known her group’s call for an investigation.
When Kagan found out in December 1996 that ACOG was considering a statement that its experts could identify no circumstances under which the [partial-birth] procedure would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman, Kagan wrote a memo stating that this of course would be [a] disaster.
"In other words, Elena Kagan knew that if ACOGs scientific opinion became public, her argument that partial-birth abortion is necessary would be completely discredited," Yoest said.
Kagan intervened and drafted language to alter ACOGs position. Yesterday, Kagan was questioned about this by several Senators and admitted that the new language was in her handwriting.
Regarding the AMA, AUL released evidence showing Kagan acknowledged in an email recovered from the Clinton Library files that she was in a meeting on whether the AMA policy can be reversed at its convention on June 23. She stated that We agreed to do a bit of thinking about whether we (in truth, HHS) could contribute to that effort.
Yoest responded that "This cryptic and troubling email demands further explanation."
"Kagan was so opposed to the passage of a ban on partial-birth abortion, she hoped that ACOG and the AMA would suppress or modify their views and, written evidence suggests, may have worked behind the scenes to make that happen," she added. "Evidence from Kagans time in the White House indicates that she may have been more involved in lobbying medical groups on partial-birth abortion than she admitted yesterday under oath."
Yoest said the impact of what Kagan did had an effect on the Supreme Court.
"Later, a federal judge in Nebraska relied on the ACOG policy statement to strike down the federal prohibition of partial-birth abortion," she said.
Shannen Coffin, a then-Justice Department attorney defending the federal ban related how the judge emphasized the integrity of the process that led to the statement, writing that, neither ACOG nor the task force members conversed with other individuals or organizations . . . concerning the topics addressed. Coffin recounted that, Kagans role was never disclosed to the courts.
Pro-life groups have described Elena Kagan as the stereotypical judicial activist and abortion advocate.
She clerked for pro-abortion Justice Thurgood Marshall, whom she lauded, and her writings dating back to her college days are filled with accolades for judges who took the law into their hands and twisted it for a desired outcome rather than relying on the people through their elected officials.
Kagan helped Bill Clinton defend his veto of a partial-birth abortion ban — the gruesome abortion procedure when a baby is birthed halfway and then jabbed in the head with medical scissors, killing him or her. She helped Clinton find political cover for his decision to keep those abortions legal.
Kagan went as far as advocating that the Clinton administration not only ignore but manipulate the opinion of a national medical group that said there was never any medical justification for killing unborn children halfway out of the birth canal.
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