Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic Democrat in favor of legalized abortion, is considered to be a possible nominee to head the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Sebelius has faced significant criticism for her promotion of abortion, including her connections to notorious Kansas late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller.
The 60-year-old governor had backed President Barack Obama in his primary race against former New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.
The Associated Press reports that a Kansas Democrat close to the governor, speaking under condition of anonymity, said Sebelius had not spoken about the position in recent days but appeared to be a strong contender.
Former Sen. Tom Daschle had been nominated to become HHS secretary but withdrew his name after admitting he had not paid all his taxes since leaving Congress.
Gov. Sebelius was considered a possible candidate for several Cabinet posts after President Obama’s election in November. However, in early December she removed her name from consideration saying Kansas budget problems required her attention.
In May 2008, Archbishop of Kansas City Joseph F. Naumann publicly admonished Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius for her support for legal abortion.
As Archbishop Naumann explained to CNA, he requested that Gov. Sebelius stop receiving Communion because of her “30-year history of advocating and acting in support of legalized abortion.”
Writing in the Archdiocesan paper The Leaven, the archbishop also pointed out that Governor Sebelius’ support for abortion leads others to question the “moral gravity” of abortion. The governor’s continued reception of Holy Communion, coupled with her support for legalized abortion, convey the erroneous message that, “You can be a good Catholic and support legalized abortion,” he wrote.
In April 2007 Gov. Sebelius hosted a reception at the governor’s residence for the late term abortionist Dr. George Tiller and his clinic’s staffers.
Photos of the event, published by Operation Rescue showed the governor greeting Tiller. Operation Rescue reported that the event was a party held in Tiller’s “exclusive honor,” though the governor’s spokeswoman denied that characterization.
The pro-life group also alleges that Tiller has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to pro-abortion Democrats, including Sebelius, through a “complicated series of political action committees and non-profit organizations.”
In one of the last acts of the Bush administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services instated conscience protection regulations making explicit the right of pro-life medical professionals and workers to decline to cooperate in an abortion. Pro-abortion rights groups opposed the measures and have said they plan to repeal them through HHS channels.