By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 16, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Americans United for Life (AUL) has issued a report shedding new light on Elena Kagan's role in manipulating key medical testimony on partial-birth abortion, saying that she failed to admit her actions in Senate confirmation hearings and calling on lawmakers to investigate.
It was revealed last month that an amendment to a statement issued by the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists on partial-birth abortion, which Kagan is believed to have added, tampered with medical testimony that proved crucial to later litigation.
"Because of the lack of other reliable scientific data, the ACOG Policy Statement, as Kagan amended it, was relied upon by federal courts to invalidate the laws of 30 states and an act of Congress," wrote AUL. "This seriously compromised the integrity of the U.S. federal judicial process for more than a decade."
Thus Kagan's apparent willingness to politicize the American judicial system "at the highest level," says AUL, "raises serious questions."
An ACOG panel in October of 1996 drafted a medical report on partial-birth abortion, which stated that they "could identify no circumstances under which [partial-birth abortion] would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman."
Kagan, however, in a December memo called the draft a "disaster" and wrote the following statement, which was included in the final draft of the ACOG report: "An intact D&X [dilation and extraction, or partial-birth abortion], 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."
AUL's report notes that Kagan's intervention with the ACOG "was not an isolated incident, but part of a pattern of behavior." Memos point to Kagan similarly tampering with testimony from the American Medical Association, also regarding partial-birth abortion.
In a Senate confirmation hearing June 30, when Senator Tom Coburn directly asked Kagan whether she "had no efforts at all to influence" ACOG's statment, Kagan answered, "My only dealings with ACOG were about talking with them about how to ensure that their statement expressed their views. I was a, you know, a staffer with no medical knowledge."
Yet AUL points to a June 1996 memo that appears to belie her testimony, showing that she took a much more active role on the issue than she was willing to admit.
Prior to the first draft of the ACOG statement, Kagan told Clinton in that memo that ACOG officials in a meeting with her "went through every [medical] circumstance imaginable ... and there just aren't many where use of the partial-birth abortion is the least risky, let alone the 'necessary,' approach."
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), after hearing Kagan's testimony, said he was "stunned by what appears to be a real politicization of science."
Upon receiving AUL's report, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, indicated agreement that there was a "contradiction" in Kagan's representation of her role in the partial-birth abortion language.
“President Clinton seems to have been disposed to sign the ban, and Ms. Kagan seems to have persuaded him to reverse that position," said Sessions in a statement Thursday. "In her testimony, Ms. Kagan clearly presented herself as a neutral staffer in the process, though this record suggests she was an active player in working to keep partial-birth abortion legal."
Bill Saunders, senior legal council with AUL, warned this week that the memos reveal that Kagan could be "every bit as bad if not worse" than U.S. appeals court judge Diane Wood.
Wood, another name on Obama's supposed short list for the Supreme Court, had been widely considered the most radically pro-abortion of the choices. She opposed the partial-birth abortion ban, and authored the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision that sided with National Organization for Women's attempt to silence Scheidler and the Pro-Life Action League and other groups.
Saunders told LifeSiteNews.com that Kagan's abortion advocacy, in addition to her "over-the-top support for judicial activists" such as U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall and Israeli Chief Justice Aharon Barak, point to Kagan being a "very extreme" Supreme Court candidate. "Even where [Clinton] wanted to be a little bit moderate on partial-birth abortion, [Kagan] convinced him not to do that," he noted.
"She should be required to explain herself better than she has because her answers at the hearings just don't seem to line up with the record," he said.
A team of lawyers at Americans United for Life has compiled a comprehensive assessment of U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan as Obama's Supreme Court pick, the end result of a year's work evaluating available data.