Monday, May 24, 2010

The “wait and see” attitude in some corners over Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s true position on the expansion of abortion - which is what’s at stake here - is a false one. True, Ms. Kagan doesn’t have a judicial track record on abortion, but it’s not hard to determine her views from the record she has accumulated.

First, there is Ms. Kagan’s obvious friendship and support for the most pro-abortion president in U.S. history.

It’s no secret that President Obama and his current nominee to the United States Supreme Court are longtime friends from their days at the University of Chicago. He is in a position to know whether Ms. Kagan supports continued and expanded abortion. Additionally, the president has made it known that his replacement for Justice John Paul Stevens will need to be another avid abortion supporter. Does anyone believe that he has changed his mind?

But that’s only the beginning. Ms. Kagan chose to make a financial contribution to the National Partnership for Women and Families (NPWF) and listed “membership” in NPWF in a questionnaire submitted in connection with her 1999 judicial nomination.

It takes no more than a visit to NPWF’s website to understand its radical stance on abortion. The organization says its goal is “to increase women’s access to … reproductive health services and block attempts to limit reproductive rights … and to give every woman access to … abortion services. …”

NPWF recognizes the importance of using the Supreme Court to advance its abortion-as-a-right agenda. Headlining its section on the judiciary, NPWF states, “Many of the rights you rely on would not be in place without the rulings the Supreme Court has made throughout history.”

If you question the level of NPWF’s commitment to abortion, look at its leadership, which is made up of staunch advocates for making abortion an unfettered constitutional right.

Judith Lichtman, senior adviser for NPWF, says “efforts to limit coverage of abortion services are really attempts to deny women access to health care services.” Incidentally, Ms. Litchtman wrote a letter “wholeheartedly” supporting Ms. Kagan’s solicitor general nomination, describing Ms. Kagan as a “friend and colleague.”

NPWF’s president, Debra Ness, serves on the board of directors of Emily’s List, an organization that works to elect pro-abortion Democratic women to Congress. Before her position at NPWF, Ms. Ness was a high-ranking official with NARAL Pro-Choice America (NARAL), an organization advocating against abortion restrictions and for increased access to abortion.

What does Ms. Ness, a woman heavily invested in the pro-abortion cause, think of placing Ms. Kagan on the court?

After Mr. Obama announced his pick, Ms. Ness stated that Americans lost a “powerful champion for justice” with the retirement of Justice Stevens (who became an ardent pro-abortion activist while on the court), but that Ms. Kagan “offers the promise that the nation will continue to benefit from having that kind of champion on its highest court.”

The web of pro-abortion connections is thick.

The chairman of NPWF’s board of directors, Ellen Malcolm, also is chairman of the board of directors at Emily’s List. Not only was Ms. Malcolm the former president of Emily’s List, but she also founded the organization. To recap: the sole goal of Emily’s List is putting pro-abortion women in politics.

Emily’s List’s current president, Stephanie Schriock, “commended” Mr. Obama’s nomination of Ms. Kagan, saying that Mr. Obama had selected a “strong and independent” woman.

And other pro-abortion groups support Ms. Kagan. The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), a self-proclaimed “early supporter of abortion rights” and an advocate for abortion rights both nationally and internationally, stated that it felt “comfortable about [Ms. Kagan’s] commitment to reproductive rights, to Roe v. Wade, and to stare decisis.”

NCJW was “confident about President Obama’s commitment to find a justice that would protect those rights.” NCJW says “the most basic requirement for a lifetime seat on the federal bench is a proven commitment to constitutional rights, including reproductive rights.”

Confidence in Ms. Kagan’s support for abortion seems to be universal among those on the left. Sen. Barbara Boxer, the staunchly pro-abortion California Democrat, shares this sentiment and proudly declared, “I have no reason to think anything else except that [Ms. Kagan] would be a very strong supporter of privacy rights because everyone she worked for held that view.” If you’ve forgotten, “privacy rights” is the rubric Justice Harry Blackmun used to read a right to abortion into the Constitution.

Over the past 40 years, activist Supreme Court justices, in the name of a legal right to abortion, have imposed their views on the American people from the bench. Americans, as guaranteed by the Constitution, have the right to decide this important issue through the legislative process. The role of a Supreme Court justice is not to usurp the role of legislatures but rather to judge the law as written.

The American people are clear on abortion: They want it reduced and restricted and are overwhelmingly opposed to using taxpayer dollars for the practice. If Ms. Kagan is confirmed, the will of the people will be ignored.

President Obama promised a pro-abortion justice, and Ms. Kagan’s friends are confident that she’ll deliver.

William Saunders is senior vice president of legal affairs and senior counsel for Americans United for Life.

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