Kagan's questionable abortion ethics

Clarke Forsythe:

Shannen Coffin’s National Review Online article yesterday described how Elena Kagan, while working in the Clinton White House, intervened to edit a supposedly scientific evaluation of the partial-birth abortion procedure that became the policy statement of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) — and was later relied upon by a federal court to strike down the Bush administration’s federal partial-birth abortion ban.

As Coffin explained, in December 1996, Kagan received a draft statement by an ACOG “select panel,” which said that 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.” Kagan drafted an amendment which said that the procedure “however, may be the best or most appropriate in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.”

Under questioning by Sen. Orrin Hatch this morning, Kagan admitted, “The document is certainly in my handwriting.”

In effect, Kagan wrote into the ACOG policy statement the “health” exception language from Doe v. Bolton, which — Kagan told Sen. Feinstein yesterday — required that any regulation must provide an exception for the “health” of women seeking abortion. Doe defined “health” as emotional well-being. Risk is simply “exposure to the chance of injury or loss.” Thus, “health risk” in abortion law means the potential for exposure to the chance of a loss of “well-being.”

Note how slippery Kagan’s amendment was: “may be the best or most appropriate in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.”

A federal judge in Nebraska relied on the ACOG policy statement to strike down the federal prohibition....

...
I suppose this is up to the standards of the Clinton White House such as they were, but it should not pass the smell test in the real world. I as pretty sure the Democrats on the committee will not care.

There is more on her questionable conduct here.

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