In 2000 the Supreme Court struck down Nebraska’s PBA [Partial Birth Abortion] ban, citing a statement from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that PBA might be the best choice for a woman under certain circumstances. That statement was also used later to fight against a federal PBA ban signed by Bush. We now find out that the ACOG didn’t come up with that language - just the opposite initially in fact - Elena Kagan just made it up and it got inserted into the final report.
Elena Kagan has admitted authorship of the memo that ties her to a successful effort to manipulate medical science. This is not only a shocking scandal for Elena Kagan, but for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as well.
Under questioning from Sen. Orrin Hatch – the first Republican to ask her about the American College Of Obstetricians And Gynecologists partial-birth abortion memo – Elena Kagan admitted her authorship of the memo.“The document is certainly in my handwriting,” Kagan said, but then explained that she was merely trying to get ACOG to clarify their official statement to accurately reflect their own views. However, that explanation doesn’t seem to fit the actual content of her notes and memos:“[White House staffer] Todd Stern just discovered that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Is thinking about issuing a statement (attached) that includes the following sentence: ‘[A] select panel convened by ACOG 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.’ This, of course, would be disaster – not the less so (in fact, the more so) because ACOG continues to oppose the legislation. … they may try, however, to do something that sounds even stricter. Daschle’s staff hopes that this proposal will provide cover for pro-choice Senators (who can be expected to support it) and that it will refocus the debate --from the partial-birth procedure to late-term abortions generally.”-- Elena Kagan, memo for Jack Quinn and Kathy Wallman, Dec. 14, 1996
Kagan then wrote to Kathy Bryant, ACOG’s associate director of government relations, suggesting that the language of the ACOG statement be changed to state that the procedure “may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.” And when ACOG adopted the exact language Kagan had suggested, she sent a note to her bosses saying the statement “turned out a ton better than expected” (underlined in her original handwriting).
Understandably, most news organizations and bloggers have focused on what this could mean for Elena Kagan. But I also want to know what the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has to say about this.
Exit question: How often do physicians' organizations allow government lawyers and bureaucrats to manipulate medical science?
Welcome to the post-scientific era, brought to you by Barack Obama and friends!
Kagan: "There was no way in which I would have or could have intervened with ACOG, which is a respected body of physicians, to get it to change its views on the medical question."
But ACOG reversed their statement, using Kagan's language ― word for word! I suppose it was just a miraculous coincidence. It had nothing to do with the fact that Kagan was working for the Clinton administration (a "respeced body" of powerful politicans and bureaucrats).
Again, welcome to the post-scientific era!