Right-wing fringe groups are trying to turn a debate about health care reform into a culture war. They’ve launched a campaign against HHS designee Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS), arguing that her appointment “is a threat to the health and well-being of our country“:
- She has had a close personal and financial association with the nation’s most infamous abortion doctor, George Tiller, who specializes in late-term abortions.” [Family Research Council]
- Sebelius honored Tiller and his entire abortion clinic staff at the Governor’s mansion in April 2007. Tiller has contributed thousands of dollars to Sebelius and to her PAC. [The Liberty Council]
- With Obama’s appointment of Gov. Sebelius to the Department of Health and Human Services, he might as well be appointing George Tiller. [Operation Rescue]
- Sebelius, governor of Kansas – the late-term abortion capital of the world – is a threat to the health and well-being of our country and her appointment must be stopped. [American Life League]
While Sebelius vetoed legislation that would have allowed a woman’s relatives to sue an abortion provider, and bills that violated women’s privacy, she has “worked to reduce the number of abortions by supporting expanded prenatal care and adoption incentives.” As Catholics United points out, “the governor has had disagreements over public policy with leaders in her Church. Yet their disagreement has never been over the morality of abortion, but over what prudential policy is best in dealing with abortion in Kansas.”
Indeed, abortion rates declined 10 percent during Sebelius’ first three years as governor and Americans United for Life has even ranked Kansas as the 14th best state for Defending Life in 2009. As for her George Tiller connections, those too are overstated. Tiller and his staff won a dinner with Sebelius “in a fund raising auction.” Sebelius “has not taken financial contributions from Tiller as a gubernatorial candidate or as governor” and even appointed the Attorney General who is looking into allegations that Tiller did not properly fill out abortion paperwork.
None of this is an issue, and it shouldn’t be a big concern during confirmation. It’s just a fund raising tactic for the Right.