Life News (Link) (February 28, 2009)
Strongly pro-abortion Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has accepted President Barack Obama's request to serve as the Health Secretary. Sebelius has one of the most radical pro-abortion record of any elected official and a longstanding relationship with a late-term abortion practitioner.
White House officials told the New York Times as late as February 18 that Sebelius had emerged as Obama's leading choice for the position. Then, this week, they acknowledged that her pro-abortion record could cause problems for her nomination.
Obama's decision to allow word of his selection to lead to the media first on a Saturday is designed to play down news coverage of his selection of a hardcore abortion advocate to lead his health care reform efforts and to implement his pro-abortion agenda. He will make the announcement official on Monday at the White House.
As the health secretary, Sebelius could have an impact in crafting a health care plan that could cover abortions with taxpayer funds or require insurance companies to cover abortions in their plans.
Sebelius could also, if confirmed by the Senate, could also issue new regulations overturning the protections President Bush put in place that protect pro-life doctors and medical centers. The Obama administration announced Friday that it opened a 30-day comment period in preparation to do so.
Sebelius is most notorious for her close relationship with late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller, who has escaped prosecution and accountability thus far for allegedly repeatedly violating state abortion laws. However, a judge recently ruled charges against him from the state attorney general's office can move ahead.
He's done so in part because of the lax standards of Sebelius and her political allies, to whom Tiller has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars. Governor Sebelius vetoed a bill last April that the legislature approved that would have strengthened the state's limits on late-term abortions.
That followed by a year her veto of a bill requiring explicit medical reasons for a late abortion, which was preceded by vetoing other pro-life legislation in 2006, 2005 and 2003.
Sebelius went as far as to coordinate a secret event with Tiller at the governor's mansion that was criticized because her staff failed to officially report the event.
Her position favoring abortion is so radical and extreme that Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City called on her to stop receiving communion until she disowns her support for the "serious moral evil" of abortion.
Leading pro-life groups have unanimously blasted the potential of Sebelius serving as Health Secretary because of her longstanding pro-abortion record.
"Sebelius is joined at the hip with the abortion industry," Troy Newman, the president of Operation Rescue, tells LifeNews.com. "She owes them her political career and has been more than willing to pay them back with personal favors that have shielded them from legislation and criminal prosecution. Her corrupt abortion politics make her unfit to serve."
Newman says Sebelius meddled with an investigation by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts in the death of Christin Gilbert, who died from a botched abortion at Tiller's Wichita clinic in January, 2005.
"The Board's politically-motivated premature conclusions covered her veto of clinic regulations," Newman said. "The Board was recently asked to re-open that investigation due to political corruption and new evidence."
Sebelius attended a Planned Parenthood fundraiser on the occasion of her birthday in May, 2007 where CEO Peter Brownlie led a conga-line dance in her honor during the party.
Brownlie's clinic was later charged with 107 criminal counts of conducting illegal late-term abortions. Those charges are now pending.
Sebelius appointed a former abortion clinic "escort" John Carmichael, a militant supporter of Tiller's political action committee ProKanDo, to the Human Rights Commission. His name was quietly withdrawn ten months later.
Sebelius appointed political supporter and abortion practitioner Howard Ellis to serve on the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts after he surrendered his medical license in Missouri rather than face disciplinary action. Ellis resigned under pressure, and two months later was charged by the Board with attempting to persuade a physician to falsify records.
Obama was forced to select someone else for the top post, which could have a significant impact on abortion issues, because his previous selection, pro-abortion former Sen. Tom Daschle, removed his name from consideration after a scandal over his not paying taxes properly.
A potential post in the Obama administration would help pro-life efforts in Kansas if only by removing Sebelius from office. It may also mean she will not run for Senate in 2010, where she was seen as a leading contender for the seat of pro-life Sen. Sam Brownback, who is expected to run for governor.