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. jim

    Thank god she is pro abortion, and pro common sense. Let's not let these child molesting psycho conservative priests dictate our free government! Seperation of Church and State, Mccain did not win! The American people have voted!

    March 2, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  2. AJL

    I thought there was a division between church and state in this country. True everyone is entitled to their opinion but when the reservations about the qualifications about a person recommended for a position in government are SOLELY based on religious dogma then somthing is really wrong here. And then we wonder why our political leaders, those making generation altering decisions, are all a bunch of morons. Someone, who agrees with your religious beliefs but cannot think his or her way out of a paper bag , is suddenly put in a decision making position over things they are neither qualified for nor want to understand. They are then at the mercy of their support staff or worse the support staff of their party's leadership when VOTING on something that affects not only this nation but in some cases the world. THAT is how you get decisions made solely along party lines. And this is true of both democrats and republicans. This is why we have a total space case as Speaker of the House, an out of touch old man as Senate Majority leader and Congressional leadership of the Republican Party unable to agree on anything. They were all put in office via a popularity contest style election because they supported ONE issue important to the slim majority in their district. And no one CARED to look into their qualifications on solving the major issues facing this nation.

    March 2, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  3. Lindsay

    Marty – the problem here is that women who want abortions are going to get themselves abortions any way they can, even if it means going to a back-alley "doctor" who uses dirty instruments, and then not telling anybody when they get sick because they'd be put in jail. Read up on your history to get the full context of why making abortions illegal doesn't work so well.

    Actually, your mention of criminalizing thieves is pretty good, now that I think about it. Yes, stealing is bad, but what if there were a whole lot of people stealing food so they wouldn't starve? You wouldn't put the lot of them in jail–you'd want to fix the reason they were starving in the first place.

    March 2, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. JFK

    This is the kind of garbage that drags down our system, our communities, and our government. We have more important things to do with our time and our elected officials time. Get her confirmed and move on to the more important issues.

    March 2, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. Demo Joe

    What can you except from an ugly person, with an ugly mind and an ugly attitude. He really makes you guys look bad. Actually he makes the whole party look like a bunch of fools.

    March 2, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. april

    All these –so-called Christians- didn't care about Obama's record of voting to let babies born alive during abortions–die, they voted him in–what did they expect?

    March 2, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. Veteran in Kansas

    Abortion is legal in our nation.

    Before it was legal, back room abortionist killed more woman through infection and uncontrolled bleeding than can be counted.

    Individuals were required to go overseas to seek medical treatment that was not "available" in the United States.

    I have no intention of ever getting an abortion. I will not stand in the way of any individual that sees the need for this medical treatment.

    It is of no buisness of any individual in this nation what medical treatments another individual seeks.

    Mind your own, and stop trying to impose your faith and morality to others that neither want it, nor seek it.

    March 2, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. Not the time

    Abortion is obviously a hot button issue. However, this issue should not dominate the confirmation hearings. Some one who is antichoice can not be made to change their mind it is something they believe in deeply. (ironically many antichoice are pro death penalty) They will take any opportunity to push forward their agenda. The HHS position is not the place for this debate. Let's get someone in there who can help with health inusrance. Let the preaching be done at another time.

    March 2, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. HSNP

    The Catholic Church doesn't have much credibility when it comes to the subject of children, born or unborn.

    March 2, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  10. karen

    Once again, the so-called religious right wants to obscure the real issues and focus on dividing the Country. Enough!

    March 2, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  11. april

    All these –so-called Christians- didn't care about Obama's record of on abortions, they voted him in–what did they expect?

    March 2, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. niki

    GOP should stay out of women uterus.
    Bush was president and there was still abortion going on in the country.
    why not trying to bring numbers down.
    no matter what happens, doctors will always have their free will to peform it or not to perfom it.
    decreasing the practice is the key. condons, abstinence etc...

    March 2, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. Demo Joe

    Rush is an ugly person inside and out. When will you people understand that?

    March 2, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. dan in Tucson

    Hey conservatives, how about we tend more to our own children from having children instead of inflicting your personal values on the rest of the world. Do you hear me Sarah Palin.

    March 2, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. mw

    Wonder how many of the old Republican white guys, still in politics, paid for back alley abortions for their girlfriends in the past. We will never know.

    March 2, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  16. Maurice

    A woman's body is hers not the government's, let she that is carrying, make the decision. Ideology aside.

    March 2, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. worriedmom

    So she is personally against abortion which is her right and basically saying that each person must make a judgement call. People are not obligated to others when they make a decision, the only one they will have to answer to is the Almighty. Let this issue be between the person and their God. I cannot judge someone on their actions. I have been on both sides of this issue and believe me, people have to realize their are circumstances in people's lives that cause them to do things. Let's worry about this woman's qualifications and her agenda for our country.

    March 2, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  18. judesuper

    OH NO, here we go again. I just wish someone would have the spine to say, a women's right to choose is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!! Enough. Repubs, stay out of women's health issues and stay out of peoples bedrooms. This is the party that states they are "small government" then tries to tell everyone what to do and how to behave. And doesn't have any problem what so ever in sending your children off to war. Enough.

    March 2, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. Jeannette American via Canada

    Get Over IT< PLEASE!

    This country turning into a Taliban rule country? DICTATED laws and rules conjured up by the male species!

    When are we going to stop giving the hatchet to the lives of the female race?
    Lets turn that hatchet on the men that produce the sex crave world and do not take the responsibility of putting a knot in it, snipping it, or start taking the birth control pill/needle or any other step on keeping their seed neutral?

    When their GOD in HELL freezes over, therefore we won't hold our breath!

    March 2, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. Marty's father

    Marty, how many times have I told you to stop watching Fox news?!

    March 2, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  21. Mike in LR

    Typical politician. Liar. But she shows the new wave of talking about the subject as if you can believe one way but condone another. I am never surprised at how stupid politicians think we are. This is an insult to my intelligence.

    March 2, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  22. fred

    I heard when she was nominated and CNN was quick to point her negatives. what kind of world are we living in?

    March 2, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  23. Marty's father

    Marty boy, you're taking this out of context.

    March 2, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  24. maria loredo

    Market is down 211 points thanks to the “CHANGE” offered by our Appeaser in Chief,Obama Pork Laden.

    For freedom to exist we need good morals to be present!!! Something the democrats dont have. That’s why the United States is on the road to failure.

    March 2, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. Vietnam Vet(DC)

    Here we go again the Super Regilious right Catholics who let Priests molest children, ruining their lives and getting away with it for years, they said nothing until finally Law enforcement agency got involved. The United States have more than just one issue, decision like this belong to the Women, her doctor and her own beleif. Lets talk about poverty, health care etc. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of these one issue Holier than thou people.

    March 2, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
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