Life Advocacy Briefing

April 27, 2009


Battle Joined on Sebelius / Gov. Sebelius Vetoes Late-Term Abortion Reform
/ Resistance to Sebelius Swells, Brownback ‘Rethinking’ / Opposing Sebelius for Another Reason / Ties with Tiller Cited / Clinton Clashes with Congressmen / Donors Dive in to Notre Dame Debate / Good Point

Battle Joined on Sebelius

THE SEBELIUS NOMINATION CAME TO THE FULL SENATE last week after clearing the Finance Committee with the backing of just two Republican Senators, Pat Roberts (KS) and Olympia Snowe (ME).

But Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) objected to an immediate vote, noting the committee deliberations on the nomination were “fairly contentious.” In agreeing to schedule the vote for tomorrow (Tuesday), with an eight-hour debate beginning at 10 a.m. EDT, Mr. McConnell achieved a requirement for a 60-vote threshold on the Sebelius nomination, rather than the customary 50%+.

Readers – including those who have already called – are urged to call their US Senators now (Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121), and urge their opposition to the nomination of Kathleen Sebelius for Secretary of the Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) on all motions advancing her confirmation.


Gov. Sebelius Vetoes Late-Term Abortion Reform

STILL HOLDING OFFICE AS GOVERNOR OF KANSAS last Thursday, Mrs. Sebelius once more paid back Wichita late-term abortionist George Tiller by vetoing a proposal requiring such practitioners to report to the state the claimed reason for each post-viability abortion they commit. The measure further would have expressly authorized lawsuits by aborted mothers, as well as their parents or husbands, against abortionists who act unlawfully.

“What she did today is sickening,” commented Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life in a KFL news release issued Thursday. “It’s a slap in the face to Kansas lawmakers and also now to many US Senators and indeed, to the country as a whole. …

“If this confirmation of Kathleen Sebelius goes forward,” noted Ms. Culp, “George Tiller will have a friend not only in the highest office in Kansas, as he likes to brag, but heading the highest health office in the land. Knowing what we know,” she said, “we think that ought to make every American sick.”

KFL observed that the Kansas governor, “like her friend [Janet – “the pro-lifers are out to get us”] Napolitano, is extremely liberal, but especially so on late-term abortion, end-of-life issues and cloning,” all of which fall under the purview of the office to which she has been named.

Abortionist Tiller’s chief nemesis, Operation Rescue (OR), also commented on the veto, noting in a news release, “[Gov.] Sebelius’s veto will benefit only one abortionist in the state, and that is her political benefactor George Tiller. The bill would have required [him] to give the specific diagnosis used to justify a post-viability abortion. Kansas law requires that such abortions can only be done if the continuation of the pregnancy will result in ‘substantial and irreversible impairment to a major bodily function’ of the pregnant woman.

“‘As it stands, no one can even check to see if [Mr.] Tiller is actually complying with the law,’” said OR spokesman Cheryl Sullenger in the news release. “‘Now [Mrs.] Sebelius is helping [Mr.] Tiller continue to conceal the true nature of what is going on at that late-term abortion clinic. She apparently wanted to do Tiller one last favor before heading off to Washington.’”


Resistance to Sebelius Swells, Brownback ‘Rethinking’

KANSAS G.O.P. SEN. SAM BROWNBACK THURSDAY SAID he was “having second thoughts,” reports Congressional Quarterly (CQ) staff writer Kathleen Hunter, about backing the nomination of his state’s governor as HHS Secretary.

The pro-life Republican’s seeming support for the abortion advocate has troubled many pro-life leaders and voters since the nomination was first announced. It appears Mrs. Sebelius took Mr. Brownback – and perhaps his colleague Pat Roberts as well – for granted when she cast her veto on the Tiller side of Kansas’s late-term abortion controversy.  Sen. Roberts was unavailable when Ms. Hunter sought to check with him late Thursday.

But Sen. Brownback told Ms. Hunter the Sebelius veto “‘makes it harder and harder. … I need to – and I’m going to – keep thinking on through it over the weekend,’ [Sen.] Brownback said,” reports CQ. “‘This is difficult.’”

Mr. Brownback’s South Carolina GOP colleague Sen. Jim DeMint, reports CQ, “called on Pres. Obama to withdraw Sebelius’s nomination,” also citing the veto, which he called “‘an insult to Americans who respect human dignity. This is a clear example,’” Sen. DeMint said, quoted by Ms. Hunter, “‘of the governor’s extreme pro-abortion agenda that should disqualify her from leading our nation’s health agency.’”


Opposing Sebelius for Another Reason

SEN. JON KYL (R-AZ) ANNOUNCED he will vote against the nomination,issuing a news release, reports Kathleen Gilbert for, “saying that he would not support Sebelius’s nomination because she supports initiatives that could lead to a rationing of healthcare … . ‘She left me with no assurance that HHS, federal healthcare programs or any new entity – such as the Federal Coordinating Council – will not use comparative effectiveness research as a tool to deny care,’ said [Sen.] Kyl. ‘And this should be a matter of concern to all of us.’

“[Mr.] Kyl highlighted one particular project that Sebelius supports,” writes Ms. Gilbert, “which promotes cost effectiveness research as providing ‘accurate and objective information to guide future policies that support the allocation of health resources for the treatment of acute and chronic conditions.’

“‘“Allocation of health resources” is a euphemism for denying care based on cost,’ said [Sen.] Kyl” in the LifeSite report. “‘Yet Gov. Sebelius did not agree to pull this project.’”

Ties with Tiller Cited

REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CHAIRMAN MICHAEL STEELE last Thursday called on Pres. Obama to withdraw the Sebelius nomination, reports Kathleen Gilbert in the story, “until straightforward answers be given regarding [the Kansas governor’s] ties to the abortion industry. …

“‘Significant questions remain about Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’s evolving relationship with a late-term abortion doctor as well as about her position on the practice of late-term abortions,’ said [Mr.] Steele in a press release,” reports Ms. Gilbert. “‘The Senate should not vote, nor should Gov. Sebelius be confirmed,’” he said, “‘until these questions are answered fully and completely.’”

After noting the dodgy manner in which facts have been extracted from the governor regarding “‘the full extent of the political contributions she received from Dr. Tiller,’” Mr. Steele went on, reports Ms. Gilbert, to “challenge Sebelius to publicly reveal her position on ‘the extremist and heinous practice of late-term abortion. The vast majority of Americans do not support the concept of late-term abortions,’ said [Mr.] Steele” as reported by LifeSite. “‘They deserve to know whether Pres. Obama’s choice to be the nation’s top health official supports these indefensible procedures.’”


Clinton Clashes with Congressmen

SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON’s APPEARANCE before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Wednesday sparked a confrontation over “her avowed commitment to eugenicist Margaret Sanger’s global agenda,” reports Kathleen Gilbert for, when Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) “questioned [Mrs.] Clinton,” writes Ms. Gilbert, “on her statements upon receiving Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger award on March 27.”

At Wednesday’s hearing, reports Ms. Gilbert, Rep. Smith told Mrs. Clinton, “‘It is extraordinarily difficult [to see] how anyone could be in awe’ of Sanger, who ‘made no secret whatsoever’ of her views. ‘With all due respect, Madam Secretary,’” Mr. Smith said, as reported by LifeSite, “‘Sanger’s legacy was indeed transformational but not for the better, if one happens to be poor, disenfranchised, weak, disabled, a person of color, an unborn child or among the many so-called undesirables Sanger would exclude and exterminate from the human race. … Sanger’s prolific writings dripped with contempt for those she considers to be unfit to live,’ he continued,” reports Ms. Gilbert. “‘Sanger was an unapologetic eugenicist and racist, who said, and I quote, “The most merciful thing a family does for one of its infant members is to kill it.”’”

Then Rep. Smith moved on, reports Ms. Gilbert, to ask the Secretary of State “whether the Obama administration seeks ‘in any way to weaken or overturn pro-life laws and policies in Africa and Latin American countries, either directly or through multilateral organizations, including and especially the United Nations, African Union or the OAS, or by way of funding non-government organizations like Planned Parenthood.’”

Replied Secretary Clinton, “‘It is my strongly held view that you are entitled to advocate – and everyone who agrees with you should be free to do so anywhere in the world – and so are we.’  [Mrs.] Clinton confirmed,” writes Ms. Gilbert, “that the Obama administration’s definition of ‘reproductive health’ includes abortion and that ‘We are now an Administration that will protect the rights of women, including their rights to reproductive health care.’”

Mrs. Clinton told Rep. Smith that he and the Administration have “a very fundamental disagreement.” Of course, he knew that.

Much of this exchange on the Obama/Clinton abortion export policy is posted on the Internet at We recommend viewing the three-minute video, which includes a passionate rejoinder from Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), quoted by Ms. Gilbert telling Secretary Clinton “he was ‘stunned’ by her commitment to Sanger and that he was ‘deeply grieved’ at her answer to Cong. Smith. ‘She [Sanger] advocated for the elimination of the disabled, the downtrodden and the Black child,’ [Rep.] Fortenberry objected,” as reported by LifeSite. “‘I don’t believe these ideologies have a place in our pluralistic society.’

“Decrying taxpayer funding of abortion overseas as ‘a form of neo-colonialism’ that is ‘elitist, paternalistic and an assault on the dignity of the poor,’ [Rep.] Fortenberry challenged [Mrs.] Clinton,” writes Ms. Gilbert, “to instead pursue foreign policy that ‘upholds the genius of womanhood and the life nestled within her.’”

LifeSite further reports on a statement issued by Rep. Smith after the hearing: “‘It is evident that Mrs. Clinton and Pres. Obama want to force the tragedy of abortion upon women around the world, especially and including in countries where democratically elected leaders want to continue to protect their unborn children. There are other ways,’” noted Mr. Smith in his LifeSite-quoted statement, “‘in which both mother and baby are protected, cared for and helped – with food, nutrition, clean water and life-affirming healthcare. Secretary Clinton’s inability to see this will mean more babies will die and more women will suffer the consequence of abortion as a result of US foreign policy overseas.’”


Donors Dive in to Notre Dame Debate

AS THE CONTROVERSY CONTINUES TO ROIL the Notre Dame “community,” bracing for the scandalous appearance of the nation’s abortion-promoter-in-chief at the university’s May graduation ceremonies, the Catholic News Agency reports on the development of “a coalition of alumni and financial supporters … [which] have launched an effort to withhold donations until University president Rev. John Jenkins CSC is replaced. The coalition claimed,” reports CNA, “Fr. Jenkins’s decision to honor Pres. Barack Obama and ‘other regrettable decisions over the years’ showed his judgment to be questionable.”

The coalition is hosting an Internet website,, “to urge supporters to withhold contributions to the Notre Dame General Fund until Pres. Jenkins is replaced,” reports CNA, “with someone who is ‘committed to the authentic identity of Notre Dame, grounded in the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

The CNA report quotes Joe DiFranco, Class of 1957, as coalition representative, “describ[ing] the initiative as ‘the voice of thousands of Notre Dame supporters who are outraged by the decision to honor Pres. Obama and have no recourse other than to stop donating. Alumni and supporters of Notre Dame, who for years have proudly donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the University, deserve better.’”

In addition to outlining reasons for the protest, the coalition, through its website, reports CNA, “ask[s] alumni and supporters to support campus pro-life organizations such as the Center for Ethics & Culture or the Notre Dame Fund to Protect Life. ‘Donations to these university-sanctioned groups through the University will benefit the pro-life cause at Notre Dame but will not go into the General Fund.’”


Good Point

This may be the first time we have published a “letter to the editor,” but this one makes such an urgent point – which needs to be made – that we decided to print it as a model for pro-life advocacy. It comes to us via an electronic mail message circulated by leaders in Eagle Forum of Colorado, sent to them by the author, Tom Longua, who notes he had submitted it to the Denver Post but did not expect that outfit to print it. One cautionary note: Sarcasm in writing does not usually work; in this case, the contrast the writer creates is so clear, it does. We congratulate Mr. Longua and urge him to press on.

On April 21, Pres. Obama opened the way for possible prosecution of American government advisers who approved of waterboarding techniques. Forget that such interrogation methods may have saved untold lives by extracting necessary information from those killers. The President may allow prosecution anyway, because, he said, such methods “reflected us [sic] losing our moral bearings.”

And certainly Mr. Obama has every right to speak of “our moral bearings,” since:

  • As an Illinois State Senator, he personally stopped legislation to protect babies born alive after failed abortion attempts.
  • As a US Senator, he supported legislation to allow doctors to stab to death babies that were 80% outside their mothers’ wombs.
  • As a Presidential candidate, he vowed to sign legislation that would wipe out scores of laws in several states that might protect some preborn babies from being killed.
  • As President, he signed orders to use American taxpayers’ money to promote the killing of preborn babies around the globe and to kill thousands of human embryos around the country, and also appointed over three dozen abortion advocates to positions in his government.
  • Also as President, he has begun proceedings to rescind conscience clause protection for doctors and medical facilities, thereby requiring them either to perform immoral procedures or to quit the medical field altogether.

Yes, sir, this is the man we want to protect “our moral bearings.”


Permission granted to quote with attribution. Reproduction rights granted only by express authorization.