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. Bill

    I don't think the Catholic League has much credibility on sanctitiy of life issues considering that the Pope was a Nazi and is welcoming back with open arms the self-professed anti-semite Bishop Wiliams.

    March 2, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. Mike Syracuse, NY

    I'm sick of these Dems who say that they personally feel abortion is wrong, then go on to back it. They are morally corrupt.

    March 2, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. Mark H.

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

    Wow, it must be REALLY off the charts for three archbishops to criticize her... What a powerful statement.

    March 2, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. gt

    well i guess she paid her taxes ,,,,,,thats is a plus even thought she doesnt practice her faith......light weight

    March 2, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  5. BURNS

    HOLOCAST OF THE UNBORN IN OUR LIFETIME-------
    AND WE HAVE NO VOICE TO OPPOSE IT. SOUNDS LIKE NAZI
    PARTY STUFF TO ME-------ARE WE ALL DUMB AND BLIND,
    GUESS SO, IF WE LET THIS HAPPEN.

    NAM VET NH

    March 2, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. Georgia Gal

    Did they really think that President Obama would nominate someone for this position who wasn't pro choice??

    March 2, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  7. Los

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

    Yeah I don't know if that's the most objective trio out there.

    March 2, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    Question: Do the GOPers and fundies REALLY believe she's going to run around advocating that everyone should have at least one abortion, that it should be on everyone's "to do" list and shoul dbe taken lightly, like popping a few ibuprofen after a night of drinking...and that hey, go out an have unprotected sex all the time with random people and don't worry about?

    Answer: No. They don't believe that for a second. But to further their own agenda, they will tell you that she believes that and will promote that viewpoint.

    March 2, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  9. gary, gpp

    I wish these jesus freaks and religious nut cases would just give it up already.

    March 2, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. DJK

    You cannot be a Catholic and a democrat today. Pick one or the other.

    March 2, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. marty

    She states:
    "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."

    So does she also-disagree with the suggestion that criminalizing theives is an effective means of achieving the goal of reducing the number of robberies in our nation."?

    Or does she also-disagree with the suggestion that criminalizing murderers is an effective means of achieving the goal of reducing the number of homicides in our nation."?

    How about a little consistency in our ideology?

    March 2, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. USA

    "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."

    I have to say....THAT is some of the best double-talk I've ever heard! She'll make a wonderful politician.

    Doesn't anyone have a backbone anymore? Doesn't anyone ever stand up for their beliefs anymore? Is it really only about power, position, and money?

    Whether I believe what someone else believes is irrelavant. I just don't have any respect for anyone who won't stand up for their beliefs!

    March 2, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. Dickson

    No one is, like lets abort babies. This Pro-Abortion tag is the right wings effort to control the sexual aspects of our lives. Remember it was just recently that the Pope Ok'd condoms to stop the spread of aids in Africa. This whole notion that you can't be against abortion and be Pro-Choice is crazy.

    March 2, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. kathy

    I know Sebelius (and most women) don't think abortion is a great idea and nifty-keen method of birth control. However, allowing women who chose it – for reasons we dont' know and whose shoes we don't walk in – to be mutilitated and even killed by back-alley abortionists isn't exactly an act of loving kindness, either. The government needs to allow women to make this difficult decision. Either way, it must cause God great grief and pain to see his people hate and hurt each other in this way.

    March 2, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  15. carlo

    Every opposition, every confrontation, every "no" from the GOP is costing them seats in 2010. I don't think they know that yet.

    March 2, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. meh

    Oh, please. Women have been having abortions for thousands of years. It's not going to stop happening just because some wack-jobs who don't give a crap about the babies once they're born and who don't want people to use birth control so the babies would never be conceived in the first place, want it to! Women will just have to do it themselves, and DIE in the process!
    Let's be realistic and teach people about responsible sexual practices, instead, eh?
    Isn't that common ground we can all agree on?
    Leave the poor woman alone.

    March 2, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  17. Nacho Cheese

    I think Sebelius is a fantastic choice! To have someone who understands the difference between personal conviction and what's right for this country and the health of her citizens... it's overwhelming in an awesome kind of way. I hope her nomination turns out fruitful, and by the looks of it, we may have yet another intelligent member of the Cabinet to look forward to.

    Good luck, Kathleen! We're all rooting for you! :)

    March 2, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. Proud American

    Typical...I would question the archbishops of Kansas City on how many have been accused of covering up child abuse and how much they have paid to make the cases go away.

    March 2, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. Freed_From_W

    ""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."

    Ok, so let's think this through for a minute...

    In 2002, there were 854,122 abortions in the US. That seems like a high number, right?

    Well.... considering that in the same year, 2,625,457 pregnancies ended with miscarriages not caused by human intervention – not so much.

    So your God, who supposedly controls when and how we all die, actually kills more fetuses(fetai?) than humans do in the US in an average year via miscarriages

    So it would seem that this man's anti-choice stance would make him against God....

    So, the real question is, Why is Bill Donahue -the Catholic League President – against God?

    March 2, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. Proud American

    Typical...I would question the archbishops of Kansas City on how many have been accused of covering up child abuse and how much they have paid to make the cases go away. perverts

    March 2, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. JD

    Amazing how these "good Catholic" politicians (Joe Biden, Gov. Sebelious, etc.) really put up a political fight to support laws which stop a beating heart. What great Catholics!

    March 2, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  22. disgusted

    Don't care what her personal opinions are. If she is qualified she should get it.

    March 2, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. gerry

    So the Catholic League states the fine Govenor is "an enemy of the unborn."

    Who do these people think they are-God?????

    March 2, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. Does the Rushpublican Party have a Boehner over Limbaugh yet?

    I guess when God, guns and gays aren't working, it's time to dust off the old abortion card.

    March 2, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  25. KJL

    I don't understand why abortion is such a big deal in politics. The women who undergo such procedures don't do it for fun, and it's rarely done in late pregnancy. It's a traumatic, unhappy experience.

    I can tell you from first-hand OR experience than many people who are rabidly against them for others are quick to choose this surgery when it's their underage daughter who is pregnant, or a deformed fetus has been discovered.

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