Surgeon General Koop Urges No Vote on Kagan Based on Abortion Manipulation
by Steven Ertelt
July 19, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop has written an extensive letter to members of the Senate calling for a no vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Elena Kagan. The letter focuses attention on the Clinton administration memos Kagan authored showing her attempting to manipulate abortion opinion.
Specifically, Koop refers to the ways in which Kagan influenced the language of a 1997 statement by American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists on partial-birth abortions.
Whereas ACOG found no occasion in which the three-day-long abortion procedure is medically necessary for women, Kagan pressured ACOG to include language saying there may be instances where it is and the Supreme Court eventually relied on that language to overturn state bans on the abortion procedure.
That eventually kept partial-birth abortions legal for several years longer until the Supreme Court reversed itself when considering a national ban Congress approved with medical findings that partial-birth abortions are medically unnecessary.
In his letter, Koop calls "unethical" and "disgraceful" Kagan’s effort to persuade the medical group to change its expert opinion to conform to her political demands.
"She was willing to replace a medical statement with a political statement that was not supported by any existing medical data," writes Koop.
"Kagan’s political language, a direct result of the amendment she made to ACOG’s Policy Statement, made its way into American jurisprudence and misled federal courts for the next decade," he said.
He condemns Kagan for having manipulated the medical policy statement on partial-birth abortion of a major medical organization.
In my many decades of service as a medical doctor, I have never known of a case where partial-birth abortion was necessary in place of a more humane and ethical alternative, the 93-year-old doctor continued. I urge the Senate to reject the politicization of medical science and vote no on the Kagan nomination.
Charmaine Yoest, the president of the pro-life group Americans United for Life, is heading to the Senate today to draw attention to Koop’s letter and raising concerns about Kagan’s "apparent willingness to distort the record" to obtain "the political outcome she wanted."
In her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kagan rejected the notion that she pressured any medical group.
There was no way in which I would have or could have intervened with ACOG, which is a respected bodies of physicians, to get it to change its medical views on the question. The only question that we were talking about was whether this statement that they were going to issue accurately reflected the views that they had expressed to the president, to the presidents staff, to Congress and to the American public, she said.
During questioning at the hearings, lawmakers questioned Kagan on memos she wrote during the Clinton administration manipulating the opinions of two medical groups that had said partial-birth abortions are never medically necessary for women.
Kagan also sought to influence the American Medical Association and get the AMA to revise its opinion that partial-birth abortions provide no medical benefit for women.
Senators asked Kagan about the memos during Judiciary Committee hearings and she explained her actions away by saying she wanted to help ACOG form a more accurate opinion.
The memos are important because the Supreme Court initially relied on the opinion of the medical groups to overturn a state ban on partial-birth abortions that had no health exception.
Later, the Supreme Court reversed itself and said a national partial-birth abortion ban was constitutional and no health exception is necessary.
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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