March 2nd, 2009
01:19 PM ET
4 years ago

Abortion, not resume, could dominate Sebelius confirmation

Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama listens to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius during a January 2008 rally.
Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama listens to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius during a January 2008 rally.

(CNN) - The congressional showdown over Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' nomination to President Obama's Cabinet may focus less on her qualifications than on the issue of abortion, analysts said.

Obama on Monday nominated Sebelius to head the Department of Health and Human Services. Cabinet nominations require Senate confirmation, and anti-abortion groups already are making their views known.

Analysts suspected that Obama would face a battle over abortion if and when he makes a nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, but religious conservatives could use Sebelius as a warm-up for the seemingly inevitable fight.

Calling Sebelius an "enemy of the unborn," Catholic League President Bill Donohue said the Kansas governor's nomination is particularly disturbing because the health and human services secretary is one of the few members of the administration who can directly affect abortion policy.

"Sebelius' support for abortion is so far off the charts that she has been publicly criticized by the last three archbishops of Kansas City," Donohue said in a statement.

"My Catholic faith teaches me that all life is sacred, and personally I believe abortion is wrong," she said then. "However, I disagree with the suggestion that criminalizing women and their doctors is an effective means of achieving the goal of reducing the number of abortions in our nation."

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Filed under: Abortion • Health care • Kathleen Sebelius
soundoff (204 Responses)
  1. Meka

    What's Great about America, is that it allows it's citizens-CHOICE'S!

    GOOD JOB, PRESIDENT OBAMA

    March 2, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Patrick

    I think we could all agree that we are tired of this endless abortion argument. Let's fix it once and for all. Ban late and mid term abortions. Leave the issue of early term abortions to each state. In all cases leave an exception for the health of the mother, incest, and rape. Also so people can't use the health of the mother exception everytime make sure it is a life threatening cause for it to be valid. Couldn't most pro-life and pro-choice groups agree on something like this?

    March 2, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. Jeanne from Arizona

    Let's see, people are losing their jobs, healthcare, the stock market is going down, people are losing their homes, money, retirement and we are concerned with Abortion rights. This seems to be the most important thing for the GOP. In my state, it is the same, the Republicans are cuting education, we are 50th in 50 states, they have decimated our higher education, people in this state with disabilities have no programs left, (haven't seen the Legislature, cut their health care ), people are being thrown off the state health care system, and the mantra is Abortion rights.
    I'm mad as he– and no one seems to care, at least not McCain and Kyl, whom we are stuck with. Talk about no representation !!!!!!!

    GET IT TOGETHER PEOPLE, OR YOU WILL NOT SEE ANOTHER ELECTION IN YOUR FAVOR!!!!!

    March 2, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. Don in Albuquerque

    Oh, give me a break. I grew up working as an orderly in an emergency room. You ever seen an alley abortion? You would only need to see one to know that this is not what God intended! We are much better off today.

    March 2, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. E B

    I don't even think these right to lifers have a leg to stand on.
    These same people support the death penalty. Do you really believe in LIFE?

    March 2, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. E B

    I don't even think these right to lifers have a leg to stand on.
    These same people support the death penalty. Do you really believe in LIFE?

    March 2, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    Will we Americans ever get to progress in science and medicine while irrational superstitious rabble rousers with a cause impede the way? I'm so tired of this nonsense.

    March 2, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. JEM

    For pete's sake, people. It's very, very simple. If you don't believe in abortion, DON'T HAVE ONE. They are not mandatory or required by law.

    March 2, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Irrelevant. The Constitution and the Courts have decided it's legal. PERIOD. As long as she plans to uphold the law of the land, that ENDS the discussion as to whether her stance on abortion is relevant to her appointment. The GOP can have a religious conniption fit if it wants, but if they do, it's just to rile their base and play partisan politics.

    Keep your religion out of my government and I'll keep my fist out of your face. Fair trade. Our country was founded on that principle and our system of government was never intended to be a means of codifying religious dogma as secular law.

    March 2, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. Arkansas Undertaker

    THe people should keep their comments to themselves!

    Conservatives hate abortion but condone capital punishment.
    Liberals hate Capital Punishment but condone abortion.

    Whats the difference.

    March 2, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. cnnnewser

    Hopefully she's pro-choice.

    March 2, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. Larry

    –What is happening to -"LIFE ",LIBERTY,and the pursuit of HAPPINESS.

    March 2, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. Mike

    Where were these Archbishops when George W. Bush presided the MOST executions ever as a Governor?

    March 2, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. TracyM.

    Abortion. Gay marriage. Immigration. Tools used by those whose brains are too small to grasp the larger issues, to sway like-minded voters. It goes straight to the gut, not the brain. They are the issues used to outrage people and thus take their minds off what the real problems are. Who wants to talk about young couples, living in poverty and hopelessness, sitting in emergency rooms with babies for hours and hours, when you can scream about abortion and feel smug and "christian"?

    March 2, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. Gerard Rohlf

    Governor Sibelius' comments about not "...criminalizing women and their doctors..." are in line with my own sentiments as a Catholic, as a Husband and as a Father of two young ladies. America is no place for a Religious Inquisition – we came here to get away from all of that.... Abortion – abominable as it is – is currently Legal and Safe in our country. Keep it so, as a last resort of women in need. As for the Senators – they may have valid questions of conscience. But, when all is done but the voting, they had best abide by their oath to uphold the law of the land.

    March 2, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  16. Dean

    I am pro-life which means that I am anti-abortion if the procedure involved is taking a life. I find it disturbing that the discussion around abortion focuses instead on the religious beliefs of the life side and around the so called "choice" of the opposing side. The question is NOT about religious beliefs, about people having choices, etc. The question that needs to be realized nationally and addressed honestly is "what is the unborn?" If it's a human life, then let's either agree or disagree on whether or not it's acceptable to take that life. And if it's not a human life, then what is it?

    March 2, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  17. Al, NY

    wedge issues. that's all they have. You bet he's gonna have a nominee to the court and it ain't gonna be one of Duh-bya's theological clones.

    March 2, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    Please name someone he could've and would've appointed that they weren't going to throw a temper tantrum about. What's that? You can't find someone they wouldn't have attacked without naming a GOPer or a member of the clergy who wants to change the law of the United States and shred the Constitution?

    I rest my case.

    November 4, 2008. Wake up and remember who won.

    March 2, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    Abortion is a choice. If you don't like it, don't make it. But until this government also outlaws war - don't come crying around about killing the unborn. I'm more worried about keeping the currently born alive... and, I might add... well.

    March 2, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  20. demwit

    Sure glad I'm not Catholic.., now.

    March 2, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  21. Michael

    I've got an idea for those radical pro-lifers. If you TRULY care about the unborn then get all your supporters to sign up for an adoption list, and start adopting. Of course, that would require a REAL commitment on your parts, and not just sign waving outside abortion clinics twice a week.

    March 2, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  22. Lisa B

    What a hypocrite this Donahue fellow is. What does he have to say about all the so-called celebate priests in his church raping young boys? Pah-leez. These religious fanatics putting their 2 cents in regarding Obama's agenda is getting really old.

    March 2, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. CAL

    why in the hell would this stop her nomination? There are a lot of people in office that have their views on many other issue including this one. She is againt abortion, so are many of the people these same anti abortionist support in our goverment, get a life people. I respect your right to get an abortion if you want to, but don't start running you big fat mouth and direspect my positon on it.

    March 2, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. demwit

    The less murdered in the womb the more here to abuse..

    March 2, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  25. Vernon Cusack

    It's not surprising that a Catholic would opppose abortion. Thr Church is the most oppresive agency for women's rights in the country' A soulmate of the Taliban.

    March 2, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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