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

Abortion, not resume, could dominate Sebelius confirmation

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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."

Full story

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

    I wish the abortion talks would just stop. The democrats are not dictating abortions. They are allowing personal choice. PERSONAL CHOICE.

    The republicans want to DICTATE no abortions even in rape, health, incest instances. DICTATE.

    Just STFU. YOU do not rule me and my body. MY CHOICE.

    March 2, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. Lisa P

    And what the Archbishops say pertains to anything... why? They ain't my archbishops! And I would appreciate them staying out of my government's business!

    March 2, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. marie

    I cannot figure out where these loons come from. Abortion will always be available either by legal means or illegal means. It is a personal choice who cares what a woman chooses; the real nut jobs come to the table over this issue and it's why I never try to debate it with anyone. The republican party has made it thier signature issue so now what do they have a bunch of inflexible, narrowminded- out of touch voters and in turn an out of touch party! Don't we have bigger problems on our hands now than abortion? Like Economic collapse?

    March 2, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  4. Concerned in MA

    You would think with all of the forms of contraceptives available that abortion would be extremely rare.

    March 2, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. dave

    No comments yet? I am on the fence like Sebelius. I don't like abortion, but Idon't want to put 15 yr old girls and their doctors in jails.

    Does anyone have an argument that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that a fetus is not human?

    March 2, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  6. yuri

    And what a touchy subject it is! We have to be sheepishly satified that the senate is thankfully not studded with stubbornly seneseless (sometimes) souls like the Coulters, Limbaughs, and the Newts. Our recommendation is a non-judgemental new look at the candidates, in general.

    March 2, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. Francis AZ

    Somebody needs to run these Catholics off, they are just getting in the way of Obama's agenda

    March 2, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  8. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    And Catholic League President Bill Donohue is an enemy of common sense.

    I just wish the idiot, superstitious, bible-thumpers would return to the Dark Ages, or wherever they came from.

    March 2, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  9. Danny in Chicago

    Anti-Abortion People are hypocrits, plain and simple. These are the same people that think it's ok to send adults to their death, but say it's wrong to let a woman make a decision on her own body.

    There is no real logic to their thinking except their own crazy interpretation of a book.........period.

    March 2, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. GOP = Got nO Plan

    Lets have that fight NOW.

    This woman is SO qualified for this post, no fringe issue like abortion, can stop her. THE PRESIDENT will go to bat for her and his opponents will be defeated.

    If we have the fight NOW, whenever we get around to the Supreme Court, we will have all the anti-abortion nonsense out of the way.

    March 2, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  11. S Callahan

    If one was truly honest with themselves they would be appauld at the history of abortion..why it began....
    It's believed and been discussed time and again that it was a Darwinian impetus behind abortion...and was racist.. It's purpose was to anhilate a race......somewhere along the line to become 'politically acceptable' the political talk said it was to protect the mother from an unwanted pregnancy....(my ?...unwanted for who?)....Abortion is a social constraint and has no biological reality according to author John West (Ware and Ham) . I agree.

    March 2, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. southerncousin

    As I sit here following all of the rules, paying my mortgage, watching my 401(k) sink, realizing all the billions of my tax dollars given to ACORN, the unions. Pelosis rats and Reids trains, and other corrupt democratic organizations, knowing Obama is about ready to screw me over on health care, and then he promises that he is going to "fix" social security, Rush is the only hope and inspiration I have.

    March 2, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. Debi

    Even Bristol Palin gets it.... abstinence is not realistic.
    She also had a choice to keep her baby.

    Anti-abortion groups need to stop pushing their views onto women. They do not walk in these women's shoes.

    If you hate big government, stay away from the anti-abortion groups. They are the biggest proponents of the government telling you how to live your life.

    March 2, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  14. nobama

    No need for qualifications to be in this cabinet. Obama didn't have any, why should anyone else.

    This administration is not only a failure, it is a complete JOKE

    March 2, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  15. johnny

    Pro choice is NOT the same as pro abortion. If you do not want one do not have one.

    March 2, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  16. C

    I am sick of these anti-abortion protestors. It's the law. It is going to stay a law. No one is forcing anyone to have an abortion. If you are against abortion – then don't have one. Problem solved. Mind your own business.

    March 2, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. stormerF

    I happen to believe along the same lines as Selebilus does when ti comes to abortion.. It should be between a woman and her God and her Doctor,not a bunch of old men or women in Washington. Church Dogma likes to take stands on certain items of faith but not others,living in the south ,You see much more intervention between church and state,we can not buy a drink on Sunday,we can not Gamble in the State,all because of relegion dogma,nothing to do with the Bible.

    March 2, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  18. Patrick - Indianapolis

    YOUR religion will kill us all. I can only hope YOUR god wipes you religious conservative wackos off the planet.

    March 2, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  19. NICK

    When are these right wing and religious freaks going to learn that they do not control our mind or bodies. How many times do they get to say the same unwanted comments?

    March 2, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  20. Kathy S. Cloughn

    Why do we let the abortion issue sabotage our efforts to make the US a great country in all ways? Roe v Wade is the law of the land...get over it! let's work together and get this economy going.

    PS: I think it's a little strange that the pro-life group isn't coming to Octomoms aid...don't you?

    March 2, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  21. Adam from Ohio

    We're still in the midst of an oil supply crisis (even if prices are temporarily low); the financial sector is crashing and burning; the Dow is below 7,000, people are losing jobs left and right, and the cost of healthcare is skyrocketing–yet, you are giving clowns like Bill Donohue a forum to talk about an issue as inconsequential to our national welllbeing as abortion?

    Come on!

    March 2, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. Joel

    Bill Donoghue needs to shut up and go away. He's never spoken for all Catholics, and the media needs to stop trotting him out whenever they want a Catholic to shoot his mouth off in public.

    March 2, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. chris

    'an ememy of the unborn" OMG! Get serious! She is not anti baby. She is pro choice, an advocate for the living, the tax paying, the ones whose life could be put in danger from carrying a child to term.

    March 2, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. DawnS

    American politics – all abortion, all the time.

    March 2, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  25. arithmetic is liberal

    Just remember this always:

    The medical lobby will do ANYTHING to keep healthcare in the US from becoming universal.

    This Tiller garbage is just one more attempt to keep you (the midwestern or southern voter) down.

    You might not support abortion, but are you willing to roll the dice with your family's healthcare in the next decade?

    Abortion isn't going away, folks. There hasn't been a bigger recruiting tool for conservative organizations than Roe v Wade. And NO PROGRESS has been made in almost 40 years to overturn it. NONE. And it's not for lack of political capital, either.

    Ask yourself: Why, during Bush's presidency when Republicans had control of the White House, both houses of Congress and a clear majority on the Supreme Court, why didn't they overturn Roe v. Wade? Answer: because Roe v. Wade benefits Republicans.

    So you have two choices with Health & Human Services: you can be a political sucker, or you can protect your family from bankruptcy and death.

    March 2, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
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