Conservatives denounce Sebelius nomination

Conservative leaders, with some key exceptions, have expressed their disapproval of the appointment of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sibelius to serve as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Their views were posted Mar. 2 on the website of Americans United for Life (AUL), an anti-abortion organization that has worked since 1971 to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, wrote that Sebelius had vetoed “every common sense bill” to regulate abortion — including safety regulations on clinics to ensure women are not harmed.


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Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, labeled Sebelius “a pro-abortion extremist,” writing that the governor had “never met an abortion she didn't support,” including partial birth abortions.

Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League, wrote: referring to the appointment, “Catholics do not expect that abortion-rights presidents will go out of their way to choose pro-life Catholics to be in their administration. But they also don’t expect them to go out of their way to offend them. Obama has done just that.”

Tom McClusky, senior vice president for the Family Research Council, wrote: “While President Obama's campaign rhetoric was filled with talk of the ‘need to reduce abortions,’ the reality could not be more different.” He stated that in key positions and in his inner circle, the President “has surrounded himself with hardcore, pro-abortion activists.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, wrote that the nomination is further evidence of something gone terribly wrong for those seeking consensus on the abortion issue, especially the President. “He speaks of finding ‘common ground’ on abortion, but then he makes a series of decisions that comprise the biggest overreach since … Roe v. Wade.”

Clarke D. Forsythe and Denise M. Burke, legal affairs writers for Americans United for Life, co-authored a statement wrote that Sebelius’ record demonstrates “that she is unfit to serve as HHS Secretary.”

Not all conservatives, however, have attacked the Kansas governor. Two prominent Kansas voices, Senators Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts, who have both taken strong anti-abortion political positions, congratulated Sebelius following the nomination.

“It’s an honor for the State of Kansas to have an elected official appointed to the president's cabinet,” Brownback said. “We are hopeful Governor Sebelius will be a voice for Kansas and rural America at the Department.”

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