The Right’s Distortion of the Law and Science to Get Kagan

Supreme Court nominee Elana Kagan once suggested the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) change some wording on the summary of a research paper they did about the extremely rare  use of intact D&Es. A procedure the Right has cowed the media and Congress  into calling “partial-birth abortions”.  This was supposed to be the gotcha moment except they left out a few details – Righties and “Medical Science”: Still at Odds

Somehow, in the fevered imagination of righties, a professional organization representing 90 percent of U.S. board-certified obstetrician-gynecologists was duped by Kagan into telling a lie, or something, and because this wording came from Kagan it must not actually reflect the views of ACOG. Coffin concludes,

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.

But no scientific finding was “overridden,” just clarified, and ACOG must have agreed with the statement or they wouldn’t have continued to repeat it in their position papers ever after.

Shannen W. Coffin, the writer of the italicized commentary, was a legal hack at the DOJ under Bush. Who better to come forward and subvert both the law and science. Apparently Kagan’s influence, like all Democrats, is nearly god-like in it’s power since the ACOG is still using language very similar to Kagan’s – ACOG Statement on the US Supreme Court Decision Upholding the, Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, For Release:  April 18, 2007

Despite the fact that the safety advantages of intact dilatation and evacuation (intact D&E) procedures are widely recognized—in medical texts, peer-reviewed studies, clinical practice, and in mainstream, medical care in the United States—the US Supreme Court today upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG) amicus brief opposing the Ban, the Act will chill doctors from providing a wide range of procedures used to perform induced abortions or to treat cases of miscarriage and will gravely endanger the health of women in this country.

“Today’s decision to uphold the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 is shameful and incomprehensible to those of us who have dedicated our lives to caring for women,” said Douglas W. Laube, MD, MEd, ACOG president. “It leaves no doubt that women’s health in America is perceived as being of little consequence.

“We have seen a steady erosion of women’s reproductive rights in this country. The Supreme Court’s action today, though stunning, in many ways isn’t surprising given the current culture in which scientific knowledge frequently takes a back seat to subjective opinion,” he added.

This decision discounts and disregards the medical consensus that intact D&E is safest and offers significant benefits for women suffering from certain conditions that make the potential complications of non-intact D&E especially dangerous. Moreover, it diminishes the doctor-patient relationship by preventing physicians from using their clinical experience and judgment.

I was almost hoping this particular right-wing smear would work since Diane Wood is my preferred choice for Supreme Court Justice and was reportedly the second choice behind Kagan. It has never been the case that the president’s second choice has been rejected by the Senate so the Right would have been due some credit for getting a more liberal Justice on the court.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)  Has ‘No Idea’ Whether He Would Have Voted To Confirm Thurgood Marshall

Moreover, Republicans can’t seem to provide any evidence to support their claim that Marshall was an “activist” judge. Talking Points Memo asked Coburn, Hatch, and Sessions which of Marshall’s opinions best exemplified his activism — “none of them could name a single case.” As the National Urban League’s Stephanie Jones wrote in today’s Washington Post, “Unlike many of his detractors, past and present, Marshall showed the utmost reverence for the Constitution” by defending equal rights for all Americans.

Let’s be fair. The notion that Justice Marshall was “activist” probably came to the three stooges of conservatism in a vision. Isn’t that all the intellectuality depth and honesty America has come to expect from Republicans.

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