Catholics Applaud Nomination of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as HHS Secretary

Posted February 28, 2009

Catholics United Initiates Education Campaign to Support her Nomination

Catholics United today announced a new initiative intended to educate Catholic leaders and laity on Governor Kathleen Sebelius’ record and to stand behind her nomination as Secretary of Health and Human Services. The effort features a Web site – www.catholicsforsebelius.org – which includes facts about Gov. Sebelius' record on issues important to Catholics, and a grassroots petition to demonstrate Catholic support for her nomination.

Catholic United's announcement comes as well-funded partisan operatives seek to distort Catholic teaching in a cynical effort to smear Governor Sebelius.

“Gov. Sebelius is a proven and tireless advocate for children's health care, education, adoption, and support for pregnant women, all components of a public policy agenda intended to benefit the common good. Under her leadership, the state of Kansas has witnessed sharp declines in both abortions and teen pregnancy,” said Chris Korzen, executive director of Catholics United, “Because of her success in expanding health care coverage and reducing abortions, we feel that Gov. Sebelius is an excellent choice to lead our nation's Department of Health and Human Services.”

Ever since the New York Times reported on the possibility of Sebelius's nomination on February 19, right-wing organizations, opposed to universal healthcare for all Americans, have been spreading misinformation about Gov. Sebelius' record on pro-life issues in order to malign her to the Catholic community. Catholics United intends to correct these smears by educating Catholics and the media about Gov. Sebelius' record of reducing abortions in Kansas by 10% during her time as Governor. As Governor, she:

  • supported Pregnancy Maintenance Initiatives, which are pro-life programs run through agencies such as Catholic Charities that provide pregnant women alternatives to abortion;
  • signed Alexa’s Law, to deal certain crimes against unborn children, defined as meaning a fetus at any state of gestation from fertilization to birth. As a result, if a pregnant woman was murdered, the offender could be charged the murder of the unborn child as well;
  • signed a law doubling the adoption tax credit and oversaw an expansion of adoption support spending in Kansas from $17,566,288 in 2003 to a projected $23,279,623 in 2008; and
  • oversaw a decline in teen pregnancies between 2002 and 2007.

“Our nation desperately needs leaders who can bring Americans together behind common ground, common good solutions to the problems of our day,” said Korzen. “Kathleen Sebelius’ ability to lead as a popular Democrat in a very conservative state proves she is the right woman for the job. We call on all people of good will to support her nomination and we look forward to her service in this important position.”