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. Wisconsin Vet

    Marty you are just as most people in this great country. Tyring to compare completely different things to get a shock answer for your own agenda of beliefs. This is simple. A women's body is her body to take care of in a mannor of good health. Doctors are to do no harm to human life under there care. And for the clincher folks.. the preception of life begins differently for different people.

    No Law can cover these facts perfectly so please think openly.

    March 2, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  2. Patrick - Indianapolis

    Marty, if you want consistency, get out of the political kitchen! Politicians have no point of view of their own, it's all about what will get them re-elected. Death to the career politician!!!

    March 2, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. BudInTexas

    Remember the Rethugs do not have the votes to defeat anything.

    They need to just relax and watch the master (Barack) at work. The country will be much the better for it when everything begins to work as he has said it should.

    Abortion, guns, gays, just say no, - they are completely out of any new ideas.

    March 2, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. Remi N.

    Catholic faith? what is that? Who cares? What is about my faith??

    March 2, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  5. jenn

    What those pro-life yahoos fail to realize is that good healthcare and a good economy would reduce the number of abortions more than overturning Roe v. Wade would (see 2008 Catholics United study). Therefore, having a smart and effective head of HHS is a lot more important than finding some myopic one-issue zealot who would do more harm than good.

    I wonder if the pro-life movement understands that they are actively increasing abortion rates by promoting far-right-wing politicians.

    March 2, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. Lulu'

    WHAT A COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!!

    WHAT IS THIS, THE DARK AGES??

    March 2, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. Lulu'

    What a Country!!!

    what is this.....the dark ages??

    give me a break

    March 2, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. Allen

    If you hate America, defeat us
    Like Obama grinning to greet us
    nominate a commie like Sebelius
    To suck brains from an unborn fetus

    March 2, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. Reality 101

    How can Republicans claim to not want big government, when they want government in the most intimate parts of our lives - how I understand and make decisions about my sexual health?

    Sounds like hypocrisy to me.... you can't have it both ways.

    No one thinks that abortions are super great - but sometimes its a necessary decision for the health (mental, emotional, physical) of the mother and/or the child.

    March 2, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. Chris from Kansas

    @ Marty: Governor Sebelius believes that education, not criminalization, is the better approach. Education about birth control, NOT abstinence "education" -> fewer unwanted pregnancies -> fewer abortions.

    Nice horrible analogies though.

    March 2, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. Reality 101

    How can Republicans claim to not want big government, when they want government in the most intimate parts of our lives - how I understand and make decisions about my sexual health?

    Sounds like hypocrisy to me.... you can't have it both ways.

    No one thinks that abortions are super great - but sometimes its a necessary decision for the health (mental, emotional, physical) of the mother and/or the child.

    March 2, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. Moody

    WHO CARES IF RELIGOUS PEOPLE DISAGREE WITH ABORTION?

    SEPERATION OF CHURCH & STATE!!!!!

    IF WE WANTED RELIGION TO CONTROL US WE WOULD STILL BE BRITISH.

    March 2, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. Amy

    "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."

    -----------------------------–

    Perfectly said, Gov Sebelius!

    March 2, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. no corporate politics

    Remember during the campaign Obama refused to take a stand on this. "above my pay grade" he said.

    Anyone else tired of this preppy wise guy approach to politics?

    March 2, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. maria loredo

    Obama is a Liberal, which makes him mentally ill.

    What decision has Obama made that is right? Try none.

    When you walk with Satan and think wrong is right? You are in serious trouble. That is what Liberals do.

    Wouldn’t it just be best to give every citizen and might as well every illegal 1,000,000 each. I can definately stimulate the economy.

    March 2, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  16. Angie

    I think that her beliefs about abortion are pertinent to her job. It is health issue (the health of the woman and the health of the murdered baby).

    March 2, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. David

    Another Dem-Catholic that knows nothing about their faith. Where do all these Catholics for Killing come from????? Maybe they should start by reading the bible and quit the Catholic Church if they disagree. We have too many cafeteria Catholics!

    March 2, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. Mike

    How about no ideology in politics?

    I've had it with religious political wackos. You've had 8 years to implement your ideologies under Bush, and mightily whiffed. It's time to set dogma and idelology in the deep freeze, and get down to business.

    March 2, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  19. greg

    so they support the feedes before birth but after birth no health care.............. they build their mega churches on hipocracy, millions are spent on politics, but nothing to feed hungry humans in africa....south america.... even in the united states.....

    March 2, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. Bruce

    Why is it that conservatives always confuse the abortion with a women's right to choose? For instance, I do not support abortion, but I do believe a woman should have the right to choose. There is a difference, but yet the repugs will have you believe that I support abortions. Also, they never connect freedom with abortion...why is that especially since they harp on independence and small government. Isn't outlawing abortion a form of big government and anti-independence. What HYPOCRITS!!!

    March 2, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. Leonard

    Marty, how about recognizing that individuals don't have the right to legislate their own personal religious beliefs into the laws of the land?

    March 2, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  22. David Newport, OR

    Conservatives...you lost. Intelligence won over ignorance.

    March 2, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. ran

    This is why I never will support a Republican. Abortion does not belong in our politics but with a woman and her doctor. Just like gay rights does not belong in our politics either. There is a simple solution to these problem: if you do not want an abortion then do not have one but do not tell others not to. If you do not like gay rights then stay away from gay people. Republicans do not want Gov. when it comes to helping people out like health care or education but they insist on the Gov. being involved in abortion/gay rights issues.

    March 2, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  24. C W

    I applaud Gov. Sibelius' efforts and success to reduce unwanted pregnancy. It's the only way forward.

    March 2, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  25. Adam

    Why is this even an issue??? Who cares?

    March 2, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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