Kathleen Sebelius on Abortion
Democratic KS Governor
The fact that the compromise had not been proposed earlier angered the president, who felt let down by his staff. Obama waded into the details of the dispute himself and personally crafted the solution.
From the beginning, the fight over the requirement that all health plans offer free birth-control coverage was animated by politics & deeply held beliefs. Several prominent members of the president's team, including HHS Secy. Kathleen Sebelius, argued strongly for the president's commitment to make contraceptives available to everyone.
Naumann dismissed Sebelius’ insistence that she personally opposes abortion, and her assertion that because of her pro-adoption policies and improvements in public health services for pregnant women, Kansas’ abortion rate has declined significantly. The prelate said that in a private conversation he’d had with Sebelius, the governor said she was “obligated to uphold state and federal laws and court decisions related to abortion.” Naumann said he demanded that she show “a similar sense of obligation to honor divine law.”
Sebelius wrote, “The US Supreme Court decisions make clear that any law regulating abortion must contain exceptions for pregnancies which endanger the woman’s life or health. However, SB 389 allows a variety of individuals to seek a court order preventing a woman from obtaining an abortion, even where it may be necessary to save her life. I am concerned that the bill is unconstitutional or even worse, endangers the lives of women.“ In addition, she expressed concern that the bill would ”likely encourage extensive litigation“ and that it ”unnecessarily jeopardizes the privacy of Kansas women’s confidential medical records.“
In 2008, Sebelius vetoed House Substitute for Senate Bill 389, titled the Comprehensive Abortion Reform Act by its sponsors. Proponents of the bill claimed the legislation would strengthen late-term abortion laws and prevent “coerced abortions” particularly with respect to minors.
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