Washington (CNN) - Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan took a pragmatic approach to the issue of late-term abortion when working as a top lawyer in the Clinton White House, documents released Friday show.
The material was part of more than 46,000 pages released by the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. Kagan was a top lawyer in the administration's Office of Domestic Policy.
At issue at the time was a bill in the Republican-controlled Congress that would ban a type of abortion performed in the second trimester. Critics of the procedure called it "partial-birth" abortion.
In a February 27, 1997 memo to top White House staff, Kagan notes a leading abortion rights supporter had just admitted late-term abortions were being "performed more frequently than pro-choice groups have acknowledged, and often perfonned [sic - performed] on healthy women with healthy fetuses," repeating a claim conservatives at the time had long made.