Kansas Liberty: 27 April 2009
Letter cites Sebelius’ ‘extreme’ position on abortion issue, suggests Tiller money may have influenced her policies
Tiahrt will urge Obama to withdraw Sebelius HHS nomination
Kansas Congressman Todd Tiahrt is among members of Congress urging President Barack Obama to withdraw the nomination of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The letter, a copy of which was released to Kansas Liberty by a Tiahrt spokesperson, was drafted by Rep. Doug Lanborn, a Colorado Republican, and will be sent to the president tomorrow. The names of every cosigner of the letter will not be released until Tuesday.
The letter is the latest effort by conservatives trying to stall or turn back the Sebelius confirmation attempt. It points to Sebelius’ “close collaboration with the abortion industry,” in requesting that Obama withdraw the nomination.
“We are deeply disappointed by this nomination and believe a nominee to such an important position should, at the very least, not have commitments to the morally reprehensible practice of providing abortion in almost every circumstance,” the letter states.
The letter points to the sizeable contributions Sebelius received from late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller, contributions that weren’t fully disclosed by Sebelius during a Senate hearing.
It suggests campaign contributions may have influenced Sebelius’ vetoes of several abortion-related bills. Tiller and a Tiller-sponsored political action committee, ProKanDo, have been very important to Sebelius' campaigns. In just one instance, Tiller donated more than $200,000 to help defeat Sebelius' opponent in the 2002 governor's race.
Given her support from Tiller and from Planned Parenthood, the letter says, “(i)t is little wonder that Gov. Sebelius repeatedly wielded her veto pen to protect abortion providers like George Tiller and Planned Parenthood, by refusing such common sense legislation as requiring abortion clinics to meet minimal safety standards. During her time in public office she has worked against even such modest measures as parental notification, waiting periods, and informed consent.”
The letter concludes that, because of Sebelius’ “extreme” position on the abortion issue, Sebelius was an inappropriate choice to run the nation’s top health-related agency.
“Given your intentions to significantly reform health care in the United States and to expand coverage of the uninsured, the Secretary of Health and Human Services needs to be committed to finding true common ground in the crafting of those policies.
“This should include protecting life and not forcing taxpayer dollars to be used for objectionable practices. Because of Governor Sebelius' demonstrated commitment to those who actively promote abortion, we do not believe that she will lead the Department of Health and Human Services in a way that unites Americans in their support of pregnant women and their families.”
The only supporters of Sebelius among Kansas' Republican legislators in Washington, D.C., are Sens. Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback. Both released a joint letter endorsing her confirmation without mentioning her abortion policies.
Roberts supported her in a Senate committee vote sending her nomination forward, and Brownback's endorsement has been used by Sebelius supporters to demonstrate her ability to work with members of both parties.
- Phil LaCerte