Following up on yesterday’s post, I finally a chance to read the Americans United for Life Action report on U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan. They are calling for a Senate investigation, and it should delay the vote on her confirmation in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Whether it will… well that’s another story.
The report summarizes her unethical behavior surrounding her work (as a member of the Clinton Administration) with a task force assigned to write the policy statement for the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG) on partial-birth abortion (D&X procedure). The ethics charge is leveled regarding an amendment that she provided for the policy statement that was based on politics, not medicine and it impacted how the Courts ruled on partial-birth abortion bans.
The original draft statement from this task force provided to the ACOG executive committee read like this:
However, a select panel convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under which [an intact dilation and extraction] would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman.
They found in their research that this procedure was not only the unnecessary approach, but it wasn’t even the least risky procedure for the mother. Kagan in a memo to the White House called this draft a “disaster” as it would provide the Clinton administration no cover in a veto of the partial-birth abortion ban that had bipartisan support in Congress. Kagan offered an amendment:
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 a doctor should be allowed to make this determination.
The ACOG, AUL Action reports, adopted this amendment without consulting the select panel. So the final ACOG final policy statement read:
A select panel convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under which this procedure … 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.
She then presented this to President Clinton without mentioning her involvement in writing the policy statement. This provided the basis for his veto. She also lobbied the American Medical Association to change its policy (which was similar to the AOCG draft statement).
Her policy was purely political and had no medical evidence to back it up. She played doctor and really had no business being involved with the task forced. AUL Action concluded:
Elena Kagan’s willingness to amend and politicize an impartial medical report by a major medical organization to affect legal and judicial events at the highest level of the American judicial system, relating to a major piece of Congressional legislation,clearly demonstrates her disregard for the integrity of the legal and judicial process.
Because of the lack of reliable scientific data, the ACOG Policy Statement, as Kagan amended it, was relied on by federal courts to invalidate the laws of 30 states and an act of Congress. Kagan’s disregard seriously compromised the integrity of the U.S. federal judicial process for more than a decade.
I agree, and as a result Senators on the Judicial Committee should refuse to confirm her. She has track record that disqualifies her.
You can read the full report here or read below: