A thoughtful post on Beliefnet points out that Kathleen Sebelius has been a friend to pregnant women in Kansas. She’s worked to subsidize health care for them, and she’s increased the funding for adoption in the state. Furthermore, during Sebelius’s tenure in Kansas, teen pregnancies decreased in the state. So did abortions.
Sebelius’s record shows she’s a champion of health care for all. The tendency of some elements of the pro-life movement to ignore life beyond the womb is troubling, and is again an issue in their opposition to the Sebelius nomination.
Health care is a problem for everyone, but for a woman considering having a child, it can be particularly frightening. As a Kansas legislator, Sebelius helped increase funding for health care for pregnant women and children.
Bush, on the other hand, vetoed SCHIP, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, while he was in office.
I saw Sebelius speak in Cedar Rapids, IA, where she was campaigning for Obama. She talked about Obama’s support for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and about the work she’s done to support working women. I’d like every Senator who’s concerned with Sebelius’s stand on abortion to come forward and tell us whether or not they supported the Ledbetter Act. We deserve to know whether or not you have considered the full spectrum of a woman’s experience, whether or not you understand that for a woman considering an unplanned pregnancy, economics matters.
A lot of pro-life politicians are the same ones who don’t believe that the state should support people. But the fact is, pregnant women need support. This is especially true of women who did not intend to become pregnant, but it’s true of all pregnant women. And no matter how enlightened we become in some ways regarding gender equality, there will always be a fundamental difference between the sexes: pregnancy happens to only one of them.
I applaud Sebelius for considering the needs of pregnant women in Kansas. And I ask pro-lifers to start advocating for the lives of children and pregnant women. To those who already are, I apologize – it’s hard to hear you above the din.