July 7, 2010
Hopefully, much more will be said and written about Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagans dishonest and manipulative behavior regarding the legislative effort to end partial-birth abortion (PBA) in the mid-1990s. Kagan worked with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to present a false picture of the medical-scientific need for that gruesome medical technique.
As duplicitous as Kagans behavior was, ACOGs presentation to the world of an authoritative opinion justifying PBA that appears to have been produced with language supplied by Kagan demonstrates that there is a pro-abortion scientific-political axis. For the basic facts, follow the link to this excellent CNSNews story.
Fortunately, there is an honest ob/gyn group in America. It is the American Association of Pro Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), and they have had a great deal to say about PBA. (See AAPLOG on PBA). One of AAPLOG's brilliant doctors is Mary Davenport, M.D., and she recently wrote an important piece for the American Thinker website on PBA, ACOG, Kagan, and the politicization of science. Much of her June 30th article, Elena Kagan: No Respect for Science, warrants repeating in this space:
Incendiary memos written by Elena Kagan in 1996 have surfaced from her stint as President Clintons domestic policy adviser. At that time, Congress was in an uproar over the recently invented technique of partial birth abortion. Many Americans were horrified when they learned about this brutal abortion procedure, in which second and third trimester fetuses were killed by having their brains sucked out and skulls collapsed.
At that time there were no studies on partial birth abortion. It is clear from [the Kagan memos] that a select panel convened by ACOG ... did not believe that the partial birth abortion was necessary to safeguard maternal life or health. The [AMA] opposed the procedure. However, President Clinton himself had insisted (inaccurately) that these abortions were done only in extreme circumstances and were necessary to prevent adverse health consequences for women and preserve their future fertility. For ACOG to have asserted that there was no medical necessity for the partial birth abortion procedure would have been a political disaster for the Clinton administration.
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Of course the illusion that partial birth abortion is a medically necessary procedure could never have been sustained without the willing collusion of ACOG. ACOG, the principal professional organization of the 52,000 U.S. OBGYN physicians, claims to serve as a strong advocate for quality health care for women. Yet its policies have consistently mirrored the most radical elements of reproductive health ideology, rather than mainstream medical opinion.
Advocacy of partial birth abortion is not ACOGs only position contrary to sound science and medicine. When the Clinton administration imported RU-486 abortions from Europe into the U.S., the initial clinical trials included safeguards such as ultrasound to rule out tubal pregnancy and close physician supervision. However, under pressure from Barbara Boxer, who called the safety provisions draconian and ACOGs purportedly scientific recommendations, the FDA removed these safety provisions. A number of deaths occurred in the U.S. shortly after release as a result of the conversion of RU-486 abortion to essentially a do-it-yourself procedure. ACOG also has repeatedly failed to officially recognize the adverse psychological sequelae of abortion on women and their families, as well as abortion as a major cause of preterm birth and cerebral palsy despite hundreds of studies demonstrating these adverse effects.