Archive for Friday, February 27, 2009

Abortion foes vow to fight to keep Sebelius from HHS nomination

February 27, 2009


— National anti-abortion groups promise a vigorous fight if President Barack Obama nominates Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as U.S. Health and Human Services secretary.

Abortion foes said Friday an important issue is a reception Sebelius once had with a late-term abortion provider who’s now facing criminal charges. They also said Sebelius’ abortion-rights views are “radical.”

Administration officials disputed the idea that abortion is an issue in whether Obama nominates Sebelius. She is considered a leading candidate for the HHS job, although the White House has said others are being considered.

‘Whole different level’

Abortion opponents acknowledged Friday that they’ll probably be uncomfortable with nearly anyone Obama nominates, but they’re particularly upset by the prospect of Sebelius.

A major reason is an event in April 2007 at the governor’s residence with Dr. George Tiller and his Wichita clinic’s staff. Abortion foes eventually obtained photos from the reception and posted them last year on the Internet.

“This is a whole different level,” said Susan Fani, spokeswoman for the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights. “That someone who’s so radical on this issue could be chosen is mind-boggling to us.”

At the time of the reception, Tiller was under investigation by the Kansas attorney general. He’s scheduled to go to trial next month in Wichita on 19 misdemeanor charges of violating state restrictions on late-term procedures, allegations he denies.

“It’s not just that she has a pro-abortion rights viewpoint,” said Charmaine Yoest, president and chief executive officer of Americans United for Life Action. “It’s her very close association with one of the most infamous abortionists in this country.”

Aides have noted that Sebelius has not received campaign contributions directly from Tiller since September 2001, before she officially kicked off her first campaign for governor.

Spokeswoman Beth Martino said Friday that Tiller purchased the right to attend the reception at a fundraising auction for an abortion rights group. Also, Martino noted a drop in Kansas abortions, which were 9 percent lower in 2007 than in 2002, the year before Sebelius took office.

Sebelius’ abortion record

Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a health reform advocacy group supporting Sebelius, said he doubts abortion or the Tiller reception will be major issues for Obama.

“They both believe that they want to do whatever they can to minimize abortion,” he said. “But they want to follow the rulings of the Supreme Court, and that’s the law of the land.”

Such statements anger abortion opponents in Kansas, who believe abortions have declined in Kansas despite Sebelius. She’s vetoed new restrictions on abortion clinics and other measures sought by anti-abortion groups.

Last year, the Roman Catholic archbishop for northeast Kansas said Sebelius, who also is Catholic, should refrain from taking Communion until she publicly repudiated her support for abortion rights. She didn’t respond publicly.

Fani said that if Obama nominates Sebelius, “There will be a lot more noise.”

“We’re hoping that, in light of some of the other problems he’s having with some of the nominees, he will not name her and avoid the fight altogether,” Fani said. “He probably doesn’t need the headache of a big fight.”


MyName 9 years, 1 month ago

I'm sure all three of the Abortion foes in Washington will put up a good fight...

Jersey_Girl 9 years, 1 month ago

Yes, because if Sebelius doesn't get it, Obama will definitely appoint a right-wing pro-lifer to the position.

hujiko 9 years, 1 month ago

These Anti-Choice people are crazy.

KS 9 years, 1 month ago

I don't think Queen Kathy is going to get this appointment. May be wrong, but if she is the one, why are they waiting? Well, maybe she owes some taxes. She might be waiting for her son to move out of the house too. Sometimes kids tend to mooch off their parents when they should be out on their own. But then again, some folks just can't get thru life without help. You know, when you feed from the public trough for so long, it is a hard habit to break.

revshackleford 9 years, 1 month ago

"These Anti-Choice people are crazy."

Yes, people who think that all babies have a right to live are crazy.

davidsmom 9 years, 1 month ago

Anti-choice? Who's anti-choice? Pro-lifers certainly are not anti-choice. We just think the choice needed to be made before you got pregnant and then tried to selfishly sweep the consequences or your irresponsible actions under the rug by murdering someone.

George_Braziller 9 years, 1 month ago

Huh? That logic makes my brain hurt just trying to figure it out. Makes as much sense as saying "trying to remember to forget."

davidsmom (Anonymous) says… Anti-choice? Who's anti-choice? Pro-lifers certainly are not anti-choice. We just think the choice needed to be made before you got pregnant and then tried to selfishly sweep the consequences or your irresponsible actions under the rug by murdering someone.

LiberalDude 9 years, 1 month ago

Something is not alive until it can survive on its own outside of the mom. There is nothing wrong with abortion.

Arana 9 years, 1 month ago

I don't think the government should have a choice over what I do with my body. If I get pregnant and it is my fault for being stupid, then I'll probably keep the child or give it up for adoption. If I am raped and a baby comes of that there is no way I'm going through 9 months with a reminder. My body, my choice. I don't think anyone but myself or a psychologist should help me make that decision.

KS 9 years, 1 month ago

beobachter - Sorry for the delay in a response. Some people have to work you know? Well, maybe you don't know? Anyway, most Republicans don't feed from the public trough.

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