With regard to Secretary-designate Sebelius, I believe she is a highly capable and respected administrator who fully believes in the protection of human life at all its stages, and will advance that goal by working for one of the most important health reforms in our history—that, as a matter of faith and justice, will no longer overlook the needs of the poor and uninsured, but instead will ask the type of tough questions that will address billing practices and medical record practices that needlessly raise the price and reduce the quality of health care provided for all Americans. I very much regret that on a few occasions, she and her bishop have not been in agreement on what is legislatively possible and legally defensible in terms of life efforts, though I trust the Governor's training and disposition as someone who has funded abortion reduction and adoption efforts and as someone who would only with the greatest reluctance disapprove well-intentioned legislation that under existing law, she has been counseled, would likely be found unconstitutional.
Thankfully, the director of the Kansas Catholic Conference - an agency with actual knowledge of the governor's record - sets the record straight (h/t Catholic World News), excerpt:
The fact is, Governor Sebelius’s record of uncompromising support for the most extreme elements of the abortion industry is beyond anyone’s power to misrepresent. It is clear. It is unambiguous. As a legislator and governor, she has opposed any and every form of abortion restriction, including parental notification. She even vetoed abortion clinic licensing, twice, despite the uproar over a Kansas City abortion clinic where fetal remains were kept in the same refrigerator as food and where a dead rat was found in the hallway. Not even the death of a mentally disabled teenager who underwent a third-trimester abortion at George Tiller’s infamous clinic in Wichita could convince her that abortion clinics should face licensing regulation.
Doug Kmiec spent 2008 trying to convince Catholics that Barack Obama was the true pro-life candidate. Now that President Obama has overturned the Mexico City policy, the Bush embryonic stem-cell policy, and begun the process of overturning conscience protection regulations-- all in less than two months' work-- Professor Kmiec and his associates have another bridge to sell you. It’s in Kansas. You know, Kansas: the late-term abortion capital of the country.
The conference's statement takes apart several claims made by Catholics for Sebelius and is a valuable resource. Read it in full here.
To say Sebelius is someone "who fully believes in the protection of human life at all its stages," is not just spin. It is a brazen lie.
And if you haven't yet seen it, check out Archbishop Naumann's statement on his "not being in agreement" with Sebelius "on a few occasions."
On a side note, much of propaganda Kmiec offers in the Gilgoff interview can be found in Kmiec's post-election columns at Catholic News Service. We'll take a look at those in a later post.