Many of us have known for years that the scientific community is not as pristine pure as they’d like the public to think; politics has long been alive and well at American universities and among the peer-review networks. It is still shocking, however, to discover that the White House has tampered with scientific findings.
The political official in charge of defending the partial-birth abortion act in federal court during the Bush administration, Shannen Coffin, described for National Review his discovery of documents released by the Clinton White House that show the apparent manipulation of a scientific report on partial-birth abortion by Elena Kagan, the nominee for the Supreme Court who is undergoing confirmation hearings this week.
If the reports are true –– and there are hand-written notes that seem to indicate Kagan’s direct involvement in the deception –– Kagan’s name should immediately be withdrawn from consideration for the Supreme Court and she should be disbarred and disgraced.
Here are the facts. A “select panel” of physician-members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a professional medical association that sponsors/conducts medical studies and publishes results, issued a report –– with the professional credibility of ACOG behind it –– that declared that the partial-birth abortion procedure “may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.”
That statement was used in numerous court cases as “official” medical opinion regarding the partial-birth abortion procedure.
Now we learn –– thanks to Powerline blog and National Review –– that ACOG’s original statement said exactly the opposite. Further, we learn –– appallingly –– that ACOG sent their findings to the Clinton White House for review prior to publishing the report. [Astounding. Can you imagine any scientific report being sent to a conservative politician for review and editing prior to publishing. The media would, rightly, be up in arms.] At the White House, the original statement was read by Elena Kagan, who was Clinton’s deputy assistant for domestic policy.