Tom McFeely is the National Catholic Register’s News Editor. He lives in British Columbia.
Pro-abortion Catholic Kathleen Sebelius was confirmed yesterday by the U.S. Senate as secretary of Health and Human Services.
But while the Democrat-controlled Senate confirmed her nomination by a wide 65-31 margin, Sebelius’s close ties as Kansas governor to the state’s abortion lobby were a subject of discussion on the Senate floor.
In a report about her confirmation, Bloomberg News noted that Sebelius provided inaccurate information to the Senate about how much money she received in contributions from Kansas late-term abortionist George Tiller.
Sebelius was forced to correct her initial claim that she had received $12,450 in political contributions over an eight-year period from the abortionist. She subsequently acknowledged Tiller and his abortion facility contributed more than $16,000 directly to her as well as another $23,000 to a political action committee that supported pro-abortion candidates in the Kansas Legislature.
“The leader of the Health and Human Services Department should be balanced and reasonable,” Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., said about Sebelius’s pro-abortion tilt during yesterday’s floor debate about her confirmation, Bloomberg reported. “There is nothing in Governor Sebelius’s record that makes me think she is either of these things when it comes to protecting the life of the unborn.”
As one of her last acts as Kansas governor, Sebelius on Thursday vetoed legislation that would have helped to enforce the state’s law restricting late-term abortions. In a statement about the veto, the Kansas Catholic Conference said the failure to enforce this legislation is “a moral catastrophe.”
In May 2008, Sebelius’ bishop, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kan., requested Sebelius not present herself for reception of Communion because of the public scandal caused by her support for legal abortion.
In an interview with the Register last month after President Barack Obama nominated Sebelius as secretary of Health and Human Services, Archbishop Naumann predicted Sebelius’s service in Obama’s cabinet would aggravate the scandal caused by her pro-abortion stance.
“Unfortunately, I think in this position, she will be put in the position of either going against the president or making herself more complicit in the promotion of abortion. So I think, for her, it worsens the situation,” Archbishop Naumann said.
“The other sad thing for me is that it puts another Catholic who is pro-choice, pro-legalized abortion, on the national stage, with Vice President Biden and Speaker Pelosi and a number of others. I think that’s unfortunate in terms of the scandal of the misrepresentation of what we believe, to many Catholics and many others in our society.”