Kansas Senators Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts are congratulating Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on being nominated to serve as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services. But their well wishes are not enjoying a good reception with some pro-life activists.
When news of President Obama’s nomination became public on Saturday, the two senators issued a joint statement describing her selection as "an honor."
"Congratulations to Governor Sebelius on being nominated to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services," the Senators said. "It’s an honor for the State of Kansas to have an elected official appointed to the president’s cabinet. We are hopeful Governor Sebelius will be a voice for Kansas and rural America at the Department. We look forward to working with her on issues important to the state including a National Cancer Institute Designation at the University of Kansas Cancer Center."
The statement also mentions that the two senators expect to have "different viewpoints than the Administration on many issues including health care reform" but does not mention abortion.
However, numerous pro-life organizations have roundly condemned Sebelius’ nomination. They note that as a state representative she voted against laws on parental notification, reflection periods and informed consent. As governor, she either opposed or vetoed legislation that would have required abortion clinics to abide by a set of health care standards and a 2006 bill that would have tightened regulations on abortions.
Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), told CNA that he is "deeply disturbed" by Brownback’s message.
"As an early supporter of Senator Sam Brownback for President and as a long-time ally of his in the U.S. social policy fights, I am profoundly disappointed in Senator Brownback's endorsement of the pro-abortion Catholic Governor Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services. She supported partial birth abortions performed on unborn Kansas babies.
"That Senator Brownback is proud of her appointment is deeply disturbing."