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The Latest Kagan Non-Scandal

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For the reasons cited by Barbara, this would-be Elena Kagan “scandal” about changed wording in an American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists position paper — being promoted by the likes of world’s-phoniest-“libertarian” Glenn Reynolds — is a complete joke. There’s no contradiction between the two drafts, because D&X abortions are, in fact, not medically necessary in a majority of cases. But this fact doesn’t mean that they are never medically necessary, and indeed the original statement implies that there are cases where D&X abortions are necessary or preferable for a protecting a woman’s health. Adding a statement to clarify what was implicit in the first draft doesn’t “distort” anything, and of course if ACOG didn’t think the statement was accurate Kagan had no power to get them to change it. There’s nothing here.

And since the only point of this feeble “smoking gun” is to allow Senate Republicans to mention the phrase “partial birth abortion” a lot, I should note once again that for reasons Judge Posner and Justice Stevens have explained the entire issue is a farce. The distinction between D&X abortions and other abortion procedures is wholly arbitrary, and for people who have supported irrational laws making such a distinction to pretend to care about rigorous medical science is nothing but comedy of the lowest form.

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