Anti-Choicers Defend, Bash Sebelius
It’s Day Four of the
anti-choice backlash to the Sebelius nomination, and still, no new
facts revealing Sebelius’s "grand conspiracy" to bump up the number of
abortions in her home state have emerged. The antis are still decrying
her "cozy connection" with abortion provider Dr. George Tiller (he went to a reception at the governor’s mansion once) and claiming that she is an "enemy of the unborn" (the number of abortions went down while she was governor of Kansas). But CBN News acknowledges
that not all anti-choicers, and not all Catholics, are opposing her
nomination: "The group Catholics United is coming to her defense by
an online petition in her defense and rounding up some Catholic leaders
to speak on her behalf. She’s even getting support from staunch pro-life Catholic Sam
Brownback’s support could be a particular problem for the religious right, CNN reports: "David Brody, who covers the White House for the Christian
Broadcasting Network, said the omission could pose a problem for
anti-abortion advocates hoping to down Sebelius’ nomination.
‘It’s a problem, and Sam Brownback has been in long step with them on the abortion issue. That’s a setback for them,’ he said."
On Beliefnet, Tony Jones announces he signed a Faith in the Public Life petition supporting Sebelius: "This morning, I have signed a last-minute petition supporting the appointment of Kansas Governor, Kathleen Sebelius,
as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Some on the Right are
raising a stink about Sebelius’s pro-choiciness, but if you take the
time to read the statement below, you will see that she, like Obama, is
committed to dramatically reducing abortions. Let’s be honest, people,
there is little political will to "end" abortions legislatively or
judicially. Right now, it’s up to the executive branch to work toward
the systemic reduction of abortion."
On US News & World Report,
Dan Gilgoff has the text of Sebelius’s speech in which she identified
herself as a "pro-choice pro-lifer" (Gilgoff’s words, not Sebelius’s):
"My Catholic faith teaches me that all life is sacred, and personally I
believe abortion is wrong. However, I disagree with the suggestion that
criminalizing women and their doctors is an effective means of
achieving the goal of reducing the number of abortions in our nation."
Utah House Passes Bill to Require EC Access for Assault Survivors
Utah House has passed bill that would require medical facilities to
provide information about emergency contraception to survivors of
sexual assault, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. "Let’s pass this bill so
they don’t have to go through another very difficult traumatic event by
having to decide what to do with an unwanted pregnancy," said HB132
sponsor Rep. Jackie Biskupski, D-Salt Lake City. "Let’s make it easier
and try to eliminate abortions around this issue."
Texas Dems Want to Reform Sex Ed in the State
Democratic lawmakers are interested in reforming the state’s sex
education curriculum to provide better more comprehensive sex ed and
eliminate abstinence-only instruction, reports AP Texas News. A proposal by Ellis and Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, attempts to
give teenagers access to "complete, medically accurate and
age-appropriate" sexual health information at school with the aim of
reducing teen pregnancy and infections, the legislators said.
Florida Legislators Push Comprehensive Sex Ed
Change in the sex ed curriculum may come to Florida, too, CBS12 reports. "Right now schools focus on abstinence and the state receives $13
million from the federal government to support programs that teach
abstinence until marriage. Under state law, schools are required to teach that avoiding sex before marriage is the expected standard for students." CBS doesn’t specify what improvements the legislators might call for.
Other News to Note
March 2: Citizen Times: Instead of bickering about abortion, let’s focus energy on contraception
March 2: Austin-American Statesman: Ultrasound
bill is an outrageous intrusion by the Texas Legislature: Sen.
Patrick’s bill to shame women seeking abortions is wrongheaded.
March 2: USA Today: Vitamin B-12 deficiency tied to neural tube birth defects
March 2: Catholic News Service: Catholic official ‘gravely concerned’ by review of HHS regulation
March 2: Fox News: Anti-Abortion Activists Plan to Fight Sebelius’ Nomination for HHS
March 2: Examiner: Senator: I will defy Obama if he repeals Abortion ‘Conscience Clause’
March 2: AP: Ky. Senate OKs abortion bill requiring ultrasound
March 2: Commonweal: Catholic conundrum: Conservatives like Obama