Not now, not ever.
I’m so done with this President. I’m so done with NOW and NARAL and Planned Parenthood and Ms. Magazine, who pretended Barack Obama was a feminist superhero. Even Hillary Clinton, in her forced-reconciliation tour-de-bullshit before the election, emphasized Iraq and the economy as reasons to vote for Obama. She never claimed that he’d be the male version of Bella Abzug, Gloria Steinem and Elizabeth Cady Stanton combined. I assume those were words that neither Party loyalty nor political self-interest could force the core of her being to choke out.
As I wrote in March, the HHS regulation Bush forced through in the waning days of his Administration like a cold butter knife through a hot thick steak, has already made a demonstrable negative impact on women’s lives. As per their usual practice, the wingnuts have been screaming bloody murder about Obama appointing “pro-abortion” (GACK! Toxic Meme Alert!) Democratic Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius to be his HHS Secretary.
Since Obama announced his nomination of Sebelius to head the HHS department in March, pro-lifers have been making efforts to block her confirmation. They cite Sebelius’ pro-abortion actions and her personal ties to the notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller.
Well, it looks like the right-wing hysteria was all for naught.
“I can tell you right now that the President supports and I support a clearly defined conscience clause for providers and institutions. I always have. It’s been in place in Kansas the entire time I’ve been in elected office,” Sebelius said at the hearing. “I know there was some concern about the regulation that was proposed and implemented at the very end of the previous administration that it was overly broad and frankly overly vague. So I don’t think from the discussions that I’ve had that there is any intention of interfering with the underlying legal basis.”
The hearing comes on the heels of Sebelius’s recent singing (sic, although I like the idea of singing bills into law!) into law a piece of anti-choice legislation that will require women seeking abortions to be given the option of getting an ultrasound or hearing the fetus’ heartbeat. The law also puts state funds toward producing literature and a video on abortion. Sebelius vetoed a similar bill a year ago; it seems likely that she signed this one to avoid an dust-up with anti-choicers just moments before her confirmation hearings. Her approval of this bill, in conjunction with her comments about the HHS rule, raise questions about exactly how pro-choice Sebelius is and whether she’ll prioritize health care reform over reproductive rights — a question the reproductive health community had for previous nominee Sen. Tom Daschle, too.