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. Julie

    How about comparing apples to apples marty?

    March 2, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. heartlight3

    Did anyone actually expect that a Democratic President would appoint an anti-choice person as Secretary of Health and Human Services?

    March 2, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. Beverly, NYC

    Why is it that the loudest voices against a woman's right to choose belong too men. When men can have a menstrual cycle, preferably for 3 summer months then you may join the conversation on abortion until then please keep your nose out of my uterus. My body, my choice.
    Mrs. Sebelius can have her personal views on abortion, however she realizes as a public servant she governs all people, she can think abortion is wrong, but she should not push her views on others. It's one of the perks of a free society.

    March 2, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  4. oh please

    So what? She won't be voting on the issue of abortion anyway. As a matter of fact, she won't be voting on anything. What year are we living in anyway, when we disregard a person's actual qualifications for whether they personally agree with our religious beliefs? Get a clue and leave her alone.

    March 2, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. Norm

    There is no consistency in the extreme religious groups that would stone women in the town square for birth control. Let alone abortion. It's time to move on and remove the reason for tremination of an unwanted,planned, etc pregency.

    Unfortunately they have no solutions to move forward.

    March 2, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Kolbe

    A Catholic is someone who believes in and holds as true all the teachings of Christ and his Church, striving to live them out. You are not a millionaire unless you have a million dollars. You are not a Catholic unless you do the above things.

    Ms. Sebelius, you are not a Catholic. You are a public heretic, and as such, you have excommunicated yourself, latae sententiae.

    The bishop was right to publically deny you the Body of Christ in holy communion, communion which you have thrown away by your heresy.

    March 2, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. John

    Get up off your knees you foolish christian zealots. In a few hundred years, those who study history will look at our culture just like we look at the Gods named Mars, Mercury, and Venus. I'm glad that not everyone will be seen as delusional zealots from the religions that grew out from the middle east, and Africa.

    March 2, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. ron

    Reading the articles and the blogs that follow proves only one thing Americans are not smart enough to be a world leader. While your country implodes like Rome, countries like China are sitting back laughing. When the dust settles they will walk in and take over, without a shot being fired.

    March 2, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. paul

    Marty: I believe a majority of people disagree with clogging our legal system with something like this. If you want to charge a rape victim of murder, for not wanting the rape baby then is it possible that you and the pro-life groups of our fine nation foot the bill for her time in court and jail? Does this sound like something our failing economic system can handle? Yea, lets pack our legal system and our jails with a bunch of good for nothing women who decided their bodies are their own.
    Good lord, we are doomed!

    March 2, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. Gene

    Instead of calling Pro-choice people "pro-abortion", I think the more appropriate thing would be to call the pro-life people "Anti-choice".

    Because really.. not many people are pro-abortion.. they just feel it should be the woman's choice what to do with her own body.

    Now... since abortion is legal.. this should not in any way be a hindrance to Kathy... nor should it be an issue to disqualify anyone from office. Abortion should be a personal issue, not a political issue.

    It's time to tell the Anti-Choice people that this is America, and in America we have the freedom of Choice.

    March 2, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. Rick Sutter

    What a headline. Abortion is part of the resume; and a big one at that. Marty makes a good analagy. However, it doesn't address the real issue. That is, liberals and conservatives differ when it comes to the definition of abortion:
    Conservative: Abortion is the taking of a human life.
    Liberal: Abortion is? Contraception? Self defense? If self defense I agree that a woman has a right to kill the baby before it kills her. Otherwise, no right should exist to kill the baby.

    March 2, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. Vera

    Notice the sign on her podium states "reclaiming the American Dream". Apparently abortion as form of birth control is now an American dream to be reclaimed.

    March 2, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  13. Perusing-through


    Another high quality executive with relevant experience and clearly ready to bring CHANGE. And thank you President Obama for bringing another women to the forefront of national leadership.

    March 2, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. Santiago Romero

    What a commonsensical position for Sebilius to take. Great.

    March 2, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. liz

    Please bring this woman into office. As a woman I am sick and tired of having MY health be considered frivolous and medical treatments being judged by somebody else's moral standards.

    If you don't believe in abortion, then DON'T HAVE ONE.

    The religious right repeatedly tries to deny me my most basic and NECESSARY medications on their false morals. Yes, necessary, as in without birth control pills them I get giant painful cysts. But what does the religious right care, it isn't as if females are human...

    March 2, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  16. Deanna in Denver

    Well Marty,

    Studies have shown that, no, legal punishment is not a deterrent to those that want to commit a theft or a homicide.

    March 2, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. Mike in Houston

    No matter where she stands on abortion, she is incompetent to lead the HHS. That incompetence makes her a perfect fit for this administration.

    March 2, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  18. RinFL

    Marty, marty, marty....................Nice engagement in circular logic. Why not just say what you mean?
    So further proof that the republican party has nothing but the same old guns, god, abortion and taxes arguments? They have been at these same 4 points since I was in grade school (1980) with ronnie rayguns at the helm. People still own guns, still get to go to the church of their choice, still pay taxes and still get abortions. It seems that they have not actually gotten anything acomplished other than lowering the taxes on the rich in the past 28 years. GO Team.....hahaha

    March 2, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. Melissa

    A womans right to choose is HER right. The religious have no business trying to make their religion into law. I hope that the religious see beyond their religion and choose whats right for everyone but I doubt that will happen.

    Personally, I'm just glad he chose a Democrat. He's not been having the best luck with the Republicans.

    March 2, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. selfevident

    So a woman who does not want to bear her child is a murderer? You sir or madame are truly diseased. Keep your hands and thoughts out of women's wombs, and go find something useful to control which is within your authority and right to control–the womb of a woman belongs to her–not you. Keep your dirty fingers out of there.

    March 2, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  21. E

    And once again the right fights against the most basic rights of half of this country's population.

    I had 8 years of Bush stomping on my ovaries, this is a democracy, and it is OUR turn to treat women as human beings for a change instead of walking baby factories being kept deliberately ignorant by churches we are NOT a part of who have insinuated themselves into schools and museums.

    All hail the separation of church and state!

    March 2, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. Bob

    If only the Catholic league would be so vocal in supporting the ' born' . The trail of abused children at the hands of priests is diabolical.

    March 2, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. Donna

    I believe that alcoholism is a horrible thing. Making alcohol consumption illegal was a failure. Prohibition was repealed. Abortions occurred before Roe vs Wade and will occur if it is abolished. The conditions will be less safe so more mothers will die with their children. Since it will be illegal, we won't have statistics to measure

    March 2, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. RZ

    As our last great (NOT) leader said it so succinctly “Bring It On!”

    This is one of the main reasons I stopped voting for Republicans. They who say they don’t want to control our lives do exactly that when they try to control my daughter’s lives directly. Who are they to say what they can or can not do with their OWN bodies? They want every child to be born, as I do also, but look the other way when these children need education, food, or health care.

    Their only concern in Health care is that the insurance and pharmaceutical companies come first. They claim the Democrat’s want to control over us but it is the Republican’s and their radical religious right that want to directly control our bodies in both life and death. They talk of responsibility and life but who has bankrupted our country and killed ten of thousands in Iraq

    So if they want to take on Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, then ”Bring It On!”

    March 2, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  25. gregg

    during the campaign we all understand how it is impossible to please everyone. For that matter, I say.....You go GAL!

    March 2, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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