Kagan changed doctors’ language to say that partial birth abortion might be the “best” procedure in some circumstances

As President Clinton’s deputy advisor on domestic policy, Elena Kagan personally re-wrote a key sentence in a position paper on partial birth abortion by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists which became the basis for many pro-partial birth abortion suits and political debates in subsequent years. According to Yehuda Levin, drawing on a piece by Shannen Coffin at National Review:

Kagan saw ACOG’s original paper, which did not include the claim 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,” but, on the contrary, 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.” She wrote a memo to two White House colleagues noting that this language would be “a disaster” for the cause of partial-birth abortion, and she then set out to do something about it. In notes released by the White House it now looks as though Kagan herself—a senior Clinton White House staffer with no medical background—proposed the “may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman” language, and sent it to ACOG, which then included that language in its final statement.

What’s described in these memos is easily the most serious and flagrant violation of the boundary between scientific expertise and politics I have ever encountered. A White House official formulating a substantive policy position for a supposedly impartial physicians’ group, and a position at odds with what that group’s own policy committee had actually concluded?

John McCormack comments at the Weekly Standard:

If Kagan twisted science to advance her political agenda, why wouldn’t she do the same to the law?

Indeed, why wouldn’t she? Everything about Kagan screams out that she’s a typical knee-jerk, New York, Russian-Jewish leftist, with everything that implies. It’s as though Obama, notwithstanding his messiah-like abilities, couldn’t raise Emma Goldman from the grave to be a Supreme Court justice, so he picked Elena Kagan instead.

Kagan_Elena_2.jpg emma%20goldman.jpg

Yes, of course, Goldman was a Communist revolutionary, while Kagan is merely a Democrat. But Kagan is what the Communists became as they adjusted their message to America. She doesn’t push outright for the overthrow of bourgeois society, she pushes for the absolute right of abortion—another way of achieving the same goal. She doesn’t advocate the dictatorship of the proletariat, she advocates the replacement of the U.S. Constitution by international law—either way, the American people stop governing themselves, and come under the power of unaccountable leftist rulers.

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LA writes:

Lest the above sound too hostile, I would add that there are things about Kagan I like. As I wrote at the time of her nomination, after watching her on video:

While short and very ethnic looking, and also overweight, she’s what a female friend of mine would describe as “cute.” She has a good smile and personality (unlike Ginsburg), is very intelligent looking (unlike Sotomayor), and has presence as a speaker.

The Phantom Blogger writes:

Was Emma Goldman not an Anarchist, rather than a Communist.

In the Wikipedia article you linked to, if refers to her as a Anarchist throughout. Though it does refer to her as a Anarchist Communist in the category section at the bottom, but I have no idea what this is, and how these two ideologies are compatible. Goldman seemed to embrace a radical leftist form of Anarchism.

Also in that same Wikipedia article it says:

“Goldman found it difficult to acclimate to the German leftist community. Communists despised her outspokenness about Soviet repression; liberals derided her radicalism.”

“When she spoke of her dissatisfaction with the Soviet government, the audience was shocked. Some left the gathering; others berated her for prematurely criticizing the Communist experiment.”

“She returned to New York on February 2, 1934 to generally positive press coverage—except from Communist publications.”

“Goldman began to worry about the future of Spain’s anarchism when the CNT-FAI joined a coalition government in 1937—against the core anarchist principle of abstaining from state structures—and, more distressingly, made repeated concessions to Communist forces in the name of uniting against fascism. She wrote that cooperating with Communists in Spain was “a denial of our comrades in Stalin’s concentration camps”. Russia, meanwhile, refused to send weapons to anarchist forces, and disinformation campaigns were being waged against the anarchists across Europe and the US. Her faith in the movement unshaken, Goldman returned to London as an official representative of the CNT-FAI.”

I can see the similarities between Kagan and Goldman though, and the point you were trying to make about them both being extreme leftists.

LA replies:

Interesting, I had forgotten that she was known as an anarchist rather than as a Communist, especially as she was deported back to Communist Russia along with a couple of hundred other non-citizen leftists. I think in my mind I had simply associated her with Communists. But now that I think about it, the events that triggered the Palmer raids and the subsequent deportations were not Communist activities as such, but anarchist-terrorist bombings in New York City, including one at Wall Street. I’d have to read up on it, but maybe there was more alarm at that time about Goldman-type anarchism than about the American Communist Party itself, an organization formed in 1919 with the express goal of bringing about a dictatorship of the proletariat in this country. In my view, all immigrant Communists should have been barred or expelled from the U.S. The government should have deported far more than the mere couple of hundred non-citizen leftists (including Goldman) whom they did deport.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 30, 2010 09:41 AM | Send

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