Saturday evening it was announced that Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, a professed Catholic who supports abortion, has accepted a position in President Obama’s Cabinet as secretary of health and human services.
The Washington Post has reported that Gov. Sebelius was nominated for the position by the President and will join the Cabinet upon receiving the Senate’s approval.
A senior administration official told FOX News that "Governor Sebelius brings extraordinary qualifications to this role: As a popular two-term governor known for her bipartisan approach, and as an insurance commissioner charged with standing up for better health care for her state, the governor has unique insight and experience to draw on as President Obama's partner in lowering health care costs and expanding coverage."
While the governor is lauded for reaching across the aisle, her extreme pro-choice support has landed her in hot water with the Catholic Church, particularly the Archbishop of Kansas City Joseph Naumann.
In the Spring of 2008, Archbishop Naumann met with Sebelius to ensure that she understood the gravity of her pro-choice support as a Catholic. Following the meeting, the prelate asked her to refrain from receiving Communion until she makes a worthy confession and publicly repudiates her stand on abortion.
He later clarified that his request to her was not directed toward one particular action, but rather, it concerned her "30-year history of advocating and acting in support of legalized abortion."
According to the Catholic League, Archbishop Naumann hasn’t been the only Kansas City prelate to speak out against her actions. "Sebelius’ support for abortion is so far off-the-charts that she has been publicly criticized by the last three archbishops of Kansas City," the organization remarked. "In 1992, when Sebelius was a state legislator, Archbishop Ignatius Strecker rebuked her for leading what he dubbed a ‘death-march of the unborn.’ When Sebelius became governor in 2003, Archbishop James Keleher, citing her abortion record, asked her to move her inauguration interfaith service from Topeka’s Assumption Catholic Church. She refused. The current archbishop, Joseph Naumann, called her out on the issue: he challenged her to name one instance in her long legislative career where she supported limiting abortion rights. She could not. He subsequently asked her not to go to Communion."
Sebelius is also known to have close ties to Dr. George Tiller, an abortionist who performs late-term abortions and is the subject of a Kansas Supreme Court case for allegedly violating the state’s laws on late-term abortions.
In a statement to CNA, Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), emphasized the governor’s relationship with Tiller. "Governor Sebelius threw parties for George Tiller, the notorious abortionist who specialized in partial birth abortions. It is astounding to me that people like Dour Kmiec are still lauding this president as a compromiser on abortion. He is proving in spades to be the most pro-abortion president in our history."
Also commenting on Sebelius’ nomination, the director of the Christian Defense Coalition, Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney noted that the President is continuing his "losing streak" of Cabinet appointments with Governor Sebelius’ nomination.
"The President also affirms his status as ‘The Abortion President’ by nominating a radical extremist on abortion rights to oversee the nation's health care and social programs," he continued.
Mahoney also noted the governor’s abortion record. "The Governor has blocked legislation that would have stopped late-term abortions, she impeded the investigation into the death of a young woman at Dr. George Tiller's abortion clinic and Catholic Church officials have told her not to receive communion because of her radical support of abortion."
He went on to ask why "President Obama would nominate such a divisive and extremist candidate after he campaigned on brining unity and civility to government."
"If the President is looking for a fight with the pro-life and pro-family movement, he certainly is going to get one."
President of the pro-life organization, Operation Rescue, Troy Newman, also weighed in. "Obama's lack of judgment when it comes to cabinet appointments is especially evident in his choice of Sebelius."
"Operation Rescue vows to aggressively oppose Sebelius' confirmation in the Senate. Her cozy connections to late-term abortionist George Tiller and involvement in numerous abortion scandals makes her unfit to serve," the statement concluded.