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In 2000, the Supreme Court struck down Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortion, citing the findings of a “select panel” of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which declared that partial-birth-abortion “may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.”
Writing in National Review today, Shannen Coffin describes recently released memos from the Clinton White House that reveal Elena Kagan as the author of that same ACOG statement — one that had such a huge impact on abortion law.
Now we learn that language purporting to be the judgment of an independent body of medical experts devoted to the care and treatment of pregnant women and their children was, in the end, nothing more than the political scrawling of a White House appointee.
Miss Kagan’s decision to override a scientific finding with her own calculated distortion in order to protect access to the most despicable of abortion procedures seriously twisted the judicial process. One must question whether her nomination to the Court would have the same effect.
Call Kagan’s actions what you will — deception, distortion, or merely a matter political manipulation — but one thing has become alarmingly clear: the Senate is about to confirm a 50 year old woman who has exercised very poor judgment in a sensitive arena of law. Given the longevity of our recent justices, we should have about thirty years to live with the consequences.