Obama Nominates Pro-Abort Radical to Run America’s Health and Human Services

Tony Perkins
By Tony Perkins | March 23, 2009 | 11:11 AM EDT

President Barack Obama campaigned on the noble promise of bringing the country together and uniting citizens around common goals. Yet, with just two months in office under his belt, he has made some radical decisions. The most prominent of his extreme choices are those surrounding the issue of abortion, personified by his recent selection of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to be Secretary of Health and Human Services.
The liberals in Congress are praising this nomination and are hoping to confirm her quickly and without fuss. Sadly, it seems that some pro-life Republicans are unconcerned about placing a strident pro-abortion activist in charge of the federal government’s largest department.
Sometimes in the political realm, compromise is necessary and, as many a cynical voter will note, politicians like to make their deals. Yet no politician should compromise his core beliefs and oppose what a significant majority of Americans believe with the speed that Senate Republicans did recently. What I see taking place in the nation’s capitol is congressmen putting short-sighted political goals over long-term and very grave policy decisions.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the largest department in the Cabinet and receives the most funding. It contains numerous agencies, offices and programs that regulate and promote issues, both foreign and domestic. As secretary of HHS, Gov. Sebelius would have control of such bodies as the President’s Council on Bioethics and the Food and Drug Administration. The Office of International Health Affairs would fall under the governor’s care as would the Office of the Surgeon General.
All of these and many other HHS organizations have a direct bearing on decisions related to domestic and international family planning, abortion services, embryonic stem cell  research and contraception.  .
Supporters of Gov. Sebelius’ nomination point to bills she signed into law in Kansas that supposedly display her support for pregnant women and their families. The most prominent of these bills being Alexa’s Law, which recognized the murder of an unborn child as a crime. The law arose from a horrific case in which a pregnant teenager was murdered at the hands of her boyfriend. The case resulted in a public outcry and, under pressure from a Republican-controlled legislature, Gov. Sebelius was forced to sign it into law.
Unfortunately, such safeguards will not be in place if she is confirmed as HHS secretary. There will be a Democratic administration and Congress to encourage her efforts. She will be able to craft health care regulations and budget priorities that reflect her pro-abortion rights convictions, with little oversight as to their implementation. 
There will be no pro-life Congress to hold a Secretary Sebelius in check. Much of the minutiae policy-making that takes place in Washington, D.C. attracts virtually no public scrutiny. A Sec. Sebelius would be able to advance her radical pro-abortion agenda with little accountability and largely behind the scenes.
This nomination shows that President Obama’s comments on finding common ground on abortion are disingenuous at best. The claim that abortion rates dropped during Kathleen Sebelius’ tenure as governor is disputed by statistics from the Kansas Department of Health. It is only through pro-life representatives in the Kansas legislature that life-saving measures have been passed. In fact, when she was a representative in the Kansas State house, she consistently voted against pro-life measures, such as parental notification and waiting measures.        
Putting a pro-abortion advocate in charge of this nation’s healthcare system is unjustifiable. Governor Sebelius’ loyalty to the abortion industry has been rewarded by Planned Parenthood, which has endorsed her and put its powerful fundraising machine to work for her. President Obama has also rewarded her campaign support for him and for his pro-abortion agenda with this promotion to the national stage.
It would be a great shame if our congressional leaders also went to work on her behalf. If the president wants to reunite America, he will withdraw Kathleen Sebelius’s name.    
Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council.