A newly-produced document today from the Clinton archives is the second to show Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan defending ex-President Bill Clinton’s veto of a bill to ban partial-birth abortions. The memo, and others, may increase Republican opposition to her nomination.
In one of the documents that comprises the 46,000 pages of material the William J. Clinton Presidential Library released today, Kagan opined on the ban for Clinton as an attorney with the administration’s Office of Domestic Policy.
In a February 27, 1997 memo to top White House staff, Kagan referred to the startling admission from Ron Fitzsimmons, at the time the executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers.
The debate then had been on whether the partial-birth abortion procedure was done for health reasons for the mother or essentially on healthy unborn children for elective reasons only.
Leading pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL made claims that flew in the face of medical practice by saying the three-day-long abortion procedure would somehow be able to save a woman’s life in a life-threatening medical circumstance.
Fitzsimmons signed on to that mantra but eventually relented, saying he “lied through my teeth” about the statistics and supposed reasons for the abortion procedure.
According to CNN, the new memo showed Kagan advising Clinton, saying it “it would be a great mistake to challenge” Fitzsimmons’ statements give how embarrassing they were for abortion advocates.
“The president’s position today remains what it has always been,” Kagan added, defending Clinton’s veto in the face of the admission, “that he will sign a bill banning partial-birth abortions, but only if it has an exception that will protect those women — even if few in number — who need this procedure to save their lives or prevent serious harm to their health.”