Yet Another Opinion About the Sebelius Nom

Whoa whoa whoa. Okay. So yesterday everyone had to weigh in on the Sebelius nomination, and I guess that means that I get to too! 

Now maybe my opinion is a piss in the river, to be crude, but I wanted to focus on a specific strand of news items that are challenging the Sebelius nomination as an affront against the Common Ground and abortion reduction platform that paved the way for an Obama vote by those more conflicted about abortion (notice: not necessarily "pro-life" identified). 

So the question seems to be, does a Kathleen Sebelius nomination mean a departure from the abortion reduction approach?

First: the naysayers, and these are pretty predictable. There’s the Susan B. Anthony List, whose president Marjorie Dannenfelser called out the nom as: 


…further evidence of something gone terribly wrong for those seeking consensus on the abortion issue, especially the President.  He speaks of finding ‘common ground’ on abortion, but then he makes a series of decisions that comprise the biggest overreach since the 1973 Supreme Court wiped every legal protection for unborn children off the books in the Roe v. Wade decision and the Doe v. Bolton companion decision. 


So that’s her opinion, which is pretty predictable, and then there’s…

Well, that’s about it. 

The general consensus seems to be that Sebelius is the best pick for a common ground approach, regardless of more extreme christian groups are calling her, among other things, an "enemy of the unborn" (thank-you, Bill Donahue, for your fresh perspective). 

But in fact, I wanted to highlight something else, and that’s Kathleen Sebelius’s own position on the matter.  The fact that Sebelius is Catholic has meant that many on the religious end have thrown a stink about, what one blogger so eloquently put it, her apparent membership to the, "’Yes, I’m a Catholic but an ardent promoter of abortion on demand’ bunch."

For Sebelius herself, it means she’s a "Pro-choice pro-lifer." Dan Gilgoff at USNews has a longer excerpt from a 2006 address, but here’s just a bit that I thought was beautiful and illustrates where she’s really coming from:


On one hand, faith is intensely personal. Faith probes the deepest reaches of our souls and every aspect of our inner selves. It sustains us in our family lives and gives us strength to do the right thing, even when it is hard or unpopular…working for the common good is not a new concept, but a core tenant of the teachings of my faith…


My Catholic faith teaches me that all life is sacred, and personally I believe abortion is wrong…If we work hard and match our rhetoric with our actions, we can create a culture that is more welcoming of mothers and treasuring of our children.  We must redouble our efforts on prevention and personal responsibility. We must stand with women who feel so alone that abortion seems like their only choice.  These women need people to walk with them, not cast stones at them…

If we truly wish to reduce the number of abortions further, we need to work together to truly promote a culture of life, by helping women and families to get the support they need when facing unexpected pregnancies and to continue to reduce the number of abortions. Healthcare, child care, job opportunities, affordable housing– they are all the building blocks of a culture of life and we can use them to build a future where abortion is extremely rare. 


The thing is, I’m not Catholic, but I am a very spiritual person, and I feel like faith is an important dimension in the total shape of my world views, when it comes down to it. And as someone who is conflicted about abortion, not in politics (where I’m staunchly pro-choice) but in faith, it’s nice to hear someone basically say it’s okay to be pro-choice and pro-life.  Someone said this to me a long time ago, and I was really resistant, but the proof is in the pudding. 

A Sebelius nom is something I can definitely get behind.  And as far as Common Ground goes, the Sebelius nom is just another brick in the pavement. 

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  • invalid-0

    Good article,good points. I think that all churches that believe in Jesus should practice what He preached and what He was sent to earth for according to the Catholic faith,(and I am catholic although non practicing) Freedom to choose! Not to condemn anyone to hell because they do not see things the same way. In the end the Pope does not judge but God does. So the church is not practicing what they preach by telling people,Example: not to get communion just because they voted for a pro-choice President.
    It is up to God and the person period!

  • invalid-0

    These so-called Catholics are causing scandal-and you are too, calling yourself a Catholic and saying Jesus came to give us the right to choose? I suppose you mean the right to choose abortion? REALLY? Anyone out there, calling themselves a Christian, whether Catholic or not- NEWSFLASH-Jesus IS NOT OK WITH ABORTION, and this is just a horrible spin you are putting on this quite frankly.

    If he gave us anything to choose, it was LIFE- and this is backed up by scripture and in the Holy Eucharist.

  • invalid-0

    You call yourself a religious person? Then why are you casting stones? Have you never sinned? Thought not. So just shut up! I am so sick of trolls like you putting your judgement on people you do not now. Get a life!! Leave your opions to yourself and go listen to your sermens more carefully.

  • therealistmom

    Seriously. I challenge you to show me anywhere in the New Testament (I won’t even go into how many political revisions, omitted books, etc went into making the Bible in it’s myriad present forms, all based on hearsay well after the alleged events occured- but I digress), anywhere in that red text usually used to show Jesus’ words, where he specifically addresses abortion. Anywhere. Or, anywhere in the Bible, period. There is a "magic spell" in the OT to make a woman miscarry if she has cheated on her husband… there’s all sorts of genocide and "ripping out the babes" of pregnant women… there’s even monetary amounts given for how much you would have to pay for a fetus (by gender) for making a woman miscarry. The NT is curiously silent on the whole issue. The early Christian (yes, even Catholics!) often permitted abortion until "quickening" based in part by the Jewish tradition of personhood when an infant takes its first breath. The Catholic church didn’t come down particularly on abortion until it became a more public issue and they felt they were losing control of the women in the fold, and this is backed by history… go back and read some of the old Popes’ statements on if it is permissible and note when the turnaround came.

    Granted, being an evil atheist and all, I guess I just can’t research any of this clearly, or understand what this figurehead known as Jesus and given the title Christ (it is a title, not a name) might have meant in reading the alleged accounts of his life. The Eucharist as I recall is the ritual cannibalism of the body and blood of the Christ. This dates back from earlier religions such as Zoroastrianism and Mithras cults which had almost the exact same wording and originated such concepts as "being bathed in the blood of the lamb" (though for Mithras followers it was literal)  and a virgin birth of a savior figure visited by magi. Nothing about abortion in there, either.

  • invalid-0

    I did not call myself a religious person. I am not casting stones. I have sinned, alot. I have committed the worst sin, that is taking three innocent pre-born lives by aborting them. I found love and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. I am here not to cast judgement, but to try to help pro-choice post-abortive women realize that they have taken a life and God is not ok with this- however he does forgive and wants us to choose life from now on! I am not passing judgement, I am trying to SHARE what I have learned about what abortion truly is, the taking of an innocent pre-born human life. This is the greatest evil there is and I know that Jesus wants me to share that with you so we can begin to turn this evil around and instead begin to choose LIFE.

    • invalid-0

      …but I’ll be damned if it said anything specific about abortion being “the worst sin” one can commit. I can think of another: giving birth to children, gaining their trust and their love, then drowning them while they’re awake. Wasn’t somebody convicted of something like that? If one thinks having had an abortion is “the worst sin,” it’s self-flagellation without the chains, in my inexperienced opinion.
      I’m sad to learn someone even carries such guilt even if the reason(s) for her abortions may seem trivial (I didn’t see motivation, so I’m guessing they were not, each time). But I won’t let that color my living in a world colored by various shades of gray. I learned about a full-time maintenance cleaner just laid off from his store. In his 30s, he’s a child in a man’s body, who doesn’t walk but shuffles – that’s because his parents broke his ankles to keep him from running away (from what? Their “love?”). Now he’s out of work, with no marketable skills and still lives with his parents (assuming they don’t kick him from the house, AGAIN). What must that be like going home to your abuser because that’s all you know?
      A person may feel abortion is “the worst sin,” but I feel allowing this poor soul to have been given a lifetime of suffering from birth is way bigger. If one believes in a monotheism of justice AND insists each fertilized egg is a human being, then one should not fear a just God welcoming all abortions into Heaven, along with all the eggs having failed to implant or naturally abort later during our species’ existence.

  • invalid-0

    For the love of God, woman…please do some research from truly Catholic sources, and then come back with some facts and I will be happy to debate on them. This is all just a bunch of nonsense you are speaking and I cannot make heads nor tails of it.

  • invalid-0

    Unfortunately evil comes with a package Men. They are trying to control women it is all over all the religions, and they are becoming so violent and controlling. It goes against everything I learned in church! I will not listen to men humans. I only answer to Jesus, and Jesus said we can either follow him or go to hell! Maybe some of us do not want to be “Told” what to do by men humans! That is what I meant it had nothing to do with abortion!!!!
    Besides this article is about church interfering with state AGAIN and it is getting old.

  • harry834

    otherwise you would be advocating for yourself and these women to be prosecuted for murder.

    Once it is known that someone has killed, we can’t pick and choose who faces a trial and who doesn’t.

    You want to plead insanity? Or some other defense? Fine. Tell it to the judge and jury and advocate that the "post-abortive" women do the same.

  • harry834

    do murderers get to escape trial if they say "Jesus forgave them"? What about athiest murderers? What about Hindu, Muslim, or Protestant? Are only believers in Jesus allowed to escape trial and jail if they kill an innocent child?

  • micah-steffes

    I can’t figure out if you’re being sarcastic or not. In the case that you’re not being sarcastic, there’s no need essentialize men in this way. Maybe put a little more thought into what you mean by "Men." Myself, I know quite a few men who are not violent and controlling…does that make them non-Men?

    Power, however, must be challenged. If by "Men" you mean those very few who wield power and exert it in violent and controlling ways, who use religion as a vehicle to oppress and control women and our bodies, as well as other populations under their control (including, Surprise! Men) then by all means, go ahead with your rant. But please, don’t essentialize. It helps no one.

  • invalid-0

    Harry834-you have chosen the wrong person for this fight.

    First, just because I know Jesus forgives me, does not mean I will escape his judgement when I die. I am well aware that I will be judged before him, and I am well aware that he ain’t happy with my choices to kill three of his precious babies.

    Second, I KNOW what I did was kill human life, and I do not deny what I did. ANYMORE. I know what comes with admitting that, and if it were to be that I would have to face judgement in the courts here on earth, well, fine!

    I would not plead insanity, whatever, I would face it.

    What will be interesting is anyone PROVING that my abortions ever occurred, because it has been more than seven years and the records have been destroyed.

    I checked.

    I wanted to put the pieces back together since I have forgotten so many details of my abortions, but there are no records left. No records that those human lives ever existed.

    How sad.

    Neither here nor there, I would face my punishment. I cannot speak for other post-aborts on this issue, so i won’t.

  • invalid-0

    I don’t know quite where to begin with your comments on the Sebelius nomination. Her position, as far as the Catholic Church goes, is scandalous. You must support these women by explaining the consequences of an abortion to them. Not just that their baby is killed, but also the emotional toll it takes on the mother. As Catholics, we are held to the notion that life is sacred from conception to death. There aren’t exceptions this.

    Sebelius is not a Catholic. She may call herself one, but the two positions are directly opposed to one another. You cannot be Catholic and be pro choice…even if you coin the ridiculous term pro choice pro life. What does that even mean? Since you consider yourself one, have you really thought about what that means?

    Your comments on how you feel politically vs. how you feel spiritually are also confusing. I don’t know how you can be sure of the taking of human life where politics are concerned, but unsure where God is concerned. Don’t you think, given the “very spiritual” person you are, he will hold you responsible for your political views, despite the fact that you are trying to compartmentalize them?

    I think you have a lot of reflecting and thinking to do on this position. It is cowardly to say, “I think abortion is wrong for me, but for others, perhaps it is the right choice”…Why don’t you want the best for everyone, as I assume you must want the best for yourself.

    • invalid-0

      By the way, when was I excommunicated? Was it before or after I graduated high school in 1976, already disagreeing with a dogmatic Church that has a one-size-fits-all on abortion. Never mind the rape victim who awakens every day and is reminded of the attack as soon as she sees the product of rape sitting across the breakfast table (no need for her to watch female-degrading porn, just looking at the kid will give her a life-time’s worth of hardcore every day of her life).
      Never mind the father of a fellow student, who in the first argument I heard on the subject, felt it was better for a pregnant woman to die than remove the fetus attacking her body. BTW – the pro-choice male student he was arguing with was part of an upperclass group who repeatedly bullied people on my bus, so silently siding with his argument was a little more complex than the obvious Generation Gap.
      Was I excommunicated after writing my first letter-to-the-Editor in college, in 1977, begging people to visit overpopulated armpits of the world in the hope they would see abortion as the species’ last sane attempt to avoid the way of the dodo (Full disclosure: I myself, have never left the country, my impression of those “armpits” was the result of endless campaigns in the Church and Catholic school for donations to help those poor).
      Still think Sebelius isn’t Catholic? Did she have a choice when she was baptised? Is she from my time when First Holy Communion was a second-grade event and Confirmation came the year after? More to the point, when the plate is passed, does Sebelius drop something in it?
      Perhaps someone out there can start an excommunication drive to rid the Catholic Church of all US pesky pro-choicers, LGBT supporters and advocates for women in the priesthood, since we all advocate such behavior anti-thetical to Christ’s teachings (with nary a word specific on these issues). Please, flood the Vatican with E-titions calling US out by name, demanding our excommunication for airing our abhorrent thoughts.
      Please, dump another another 10,000,000 (conservative estimate) from the flock. Only last night, Lou Dobbs reported the increasing amount of Americans who HAVE NO RELIGION: get US all publically excommunicated (post it online, save the Church some cash) and he’ll flip his on-air hair/rug). A new CIA will be born – Catholics In Absentia.
      I can’t wait to see the number of Church-goers cut in half from such an exercise, but I’m also sure Benny would like to wait until it has fully recovered from the settlements it’s had to pay out for the practices of pedophile priests that actually made it court.

  • colleen


     The choice we are allowed by virtue of the Constitution is freedom of religion. I believe that the Bible grants us freedom of conscience.

    Several Christian faith traditions are pro-choice. Indeed many Catholics and particularly those who have some capacity for compassion and empathy are pro-choice and an overwhelming majority of the laity are opposed to The Church’s stance on contraceptives. (Which is, btw, incoherent in it’s silliness.) The great thing about freedom of religion is that, unlike the times in which there were Inquisitions and Crusades, we can now practice a ‘faith’ social conservatives don’t like or practice no ‘faith’ at all and y’all aren’t allowed to torture, kill or bully us into submission.

    I’m betting that neither you, Antonin Scalia or the entire Catholic heirarchy know jack about what Jesus is and is not ‘OK’ with.  Same with the SBC, The Mormons and all the other patriarchial ‘faiths’ that would be utterly lost if they didn’t have women who prefered to live as something other than masturbatory devices,a cheap or free source of labor and, of course, a gestation device.


  • therealistmom

    "You aren’t Catholic so nothing you say is true nanana booboo." If I had a faith I would research it fully instead of simply accepting whatever pablum shoved at me, but perhaps that is exactly why I don’t have one. Catholic sources are not the only legitimate ones, and everything I said made sense if you actually read it. Anyway, here goes. Some quotes from one of my favorite religious information sites,

    St. Jerome (circa 340 – 420) wrote in a letter to Aglasia:

    "The seed gradually takes shape in the uterus, and it [abortion]
    does not count as killing until the individual elements have acquired their
    external appearance and their limbs"

     Pope Innocent III (circa 1161-1216):

    He wrote a letter which ruled on a case of a Carthusian monk
    who had arranged for his female lover to obtain an abortion. The Pope decided that the
    monk was not guilty of homicide if the fetus was not "animated."

    Early in the 13th century he stated that the soul enters the body of
    the fetus at the time of "quickening" – when the woman first feels movement of
    the fetus. After ensoulment, abortion was equated with murder; before that time, it was a
    less serious sin, because it terminated only potential human life, not human life.

     St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) also considered only the abortion of an
    "animated" fetus as murder.

    Pope Gregory XIV (1535-1591) revoked the Papal bull shortly
    after taking office in 1591. He reinstated the "quickening" test, which he
    happened 116 days into pregnancy (16½ weeks).


     And in regards to my commentary on the Eucharist, here is a comparison of the writings on Mithras and of Jesus.


    An inscription to Mithras reads: "He who will not eat of my
    body and drink of my blood, so that he will be made on with me and I
    with him, the same shall not know salvation.
    " 1 In John
    6:53-54, Jesus is said to have repeated this theme: "…Except
    ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no
    life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal
    life; and I will raise him up at the last day."


     Neither quote has anything to do with abortion.



  • harry834

    but you think that the missing records might get you acquitted. OK. Well I’m impressed that you checked.

    Of course the police would still have to do their search. And you’re admitting that you did it. And you admitt that the reason for the missing records is NOT that you didn’t do it, but that the records have gone and YOU (the suspect) verified this.

    I’m not sure if this enough to get a murderer convicted, but it’s too much for the police to ignore. 

    And I trust you would go to the police, tell everything, and assist them in finding whatever evidence of their crime. They may be able to dig where you haven’t. And maybe everything you’ve admitted PLUS anything else they find is enough.

    After all, it’s not everyday a murderer tries to the the police job for them. Your williness to help in your own conviction, might be strong.

    Of course, the psychs will have to evaluate you, but you’re already admitting you won’t plead insanity. 

    So you’re being very helpful (unusual for a murderer, but impressive).

    Next question:

    What are you doing NOW SPECFICALLY to see that you and other post-abort women get the investigation, prosecution, and legal punishment you deserve for your crime?

  • invalid-0

    I have been doing a lot of reading and listening to religious fanatics and I feel that the religions are trying to control women not abortion. There are to many things to list. It just does not add up, what they say on abortion issues. The bible and most if not all religions are sexist plain and simple. This is my opinion and others that I know.
    I never mentioned men and violence you did. Something bothering you? I meant religions ok I guess so since men always run everything in most churches.
    I have a right to feel and say what I want to anyway!!

  • invalid-0

    Specifically? I’m visiting pro-abortion blogs.

  • invalid-0

    Lisa you seem very hurt by your experience. I am the one who wrote the first comment about Jesus. I try to follow in Jesus footsteps but sometimes I get sidetracked. Only human!
    First it was not about abortion choices it was about the fact that someone pointed out to me several years ago. She said that ” you answer to God not Priests in the church. It made me think. She really is right. The priests, (and many are very good) can only tell the story of Jesus as they interperit Him. Spirituality is very personal. It is what is in your heart. I understand your journey I am an advocate for animal rights ending factory farming I know how hard it is to educate people with different views. Just remember to teach gently and do not judge. You get more bees with honey.
    You are in my prayers. I hope you can forgive yourself someday.

  • harry834

    and other women who did the same crime you did?

    Perhaps you should talk to a lawyer about how you would begin the path to get yourself prosecuted for murder. And also the women who’ve had abortions. Whether or not "Jesus" has forgiven them, because under the courts of humans, you all deserve the same treatment.

    I understand that abortion is not currently considered murder by law – so turning yourself in wouldn’t have results. But on the path to getting yourself prosecuted, you can talk to a lawyer to start an advocay process…similar to the advocacy for those demanding prosecution of Bush and others for war crimes.

    The Nuremberg trials started the same way: Nazi actions were perfectly legal, so it took a struggle with many legal experts to get the Nuremberg trials. But we successfully punished several in this chart.

    So any thoughts on talking to lawyers to begin this? You’d be the first war criminal with integrity to fight FOR your murder trial.

    But will you?


  • harry834

    If only remorse were a get-out-jail-free card. Tell it to the judge and jury.

  • invalid-0

    Based on Aristotelian biology, St. Thomas also thought that women were essentially misbegotten males, and that they were incapable of acquiring intellectual virtues because they lacked the rational capabilities of men. I am assuming since you still want to embrace Aristotelian biology concerning abortion, that you also agree with these other Aristotelian-Thomistic conclusions.

    At this point, why don’t you just let the men work this issue out, since they are the superior beings.

    Or, why don’t you go back and read St. Thomas on delayed hominization and deduce what he would say now about abortion at any stage if he was working with current biology and not B.C. science.

  • therealistmom

     I no way, at any point, did I say that I agreed with or promoted the views of any of the individuals quoted. I was simply responding to the positing that "Jesus was not ok with abortion" and that the Church had always condemned it. 

    And, quite frankly, I think with the current biological knowledge that "delayed ensoulment" would be even more a popular viewpoint, given that at one time it was believed the male carried the "seed" that had perfect little infants within that were deposited in the woman’s womb. We now now that there aren’t fully-formed little infants just needing size, but embryonic and fetal development periods before the resulting conceptus has anything that might qualify as sentience.


  • invalid-0

    Embryonic and fetal are adjectives, what noun accompanies them? Human. Just like there are adolescent humans and adult humans, there are fetal and embryonic HUMANS. What science actually shows, is that the embryo already has everything it needs to develop at fertilization minus a conducive environment for growth, i.e. the mother’s womb which provides shelter and food…the basic necessities you and I as adult humans still need. Therefore, these needs don’t detract from the humanity of the embryo.

    If sentience is what makes someone human, then I would assume that along with your approval of abortion, then you also advocate systematically killing anyone who is in a temporary coma or anyone who blacks out at any stage due to alcohol abuse.

    Other than that, I can’t make heads or tails of your latest response…the seeds and how this all relates to delayed ensoulment…I can’t respond because you lost me on that one.

  • otaku1960

    <blockquote>If sentience is what makes someone human, then I would assume that along with your approval of abortion, then you also advocate systematically killing anyone who is in a temporary coma or anyone who blacks out at any stage due to alcohol abuse.</blockquote>

    It’s really getting old. Someone in a coma or passed out from too much alchohol is "post born" (and/or a naturalized citizen)and protected by the Constitution. Plus, they’ve shown prior sentience.  Infants are certainly self aware, but the early-term fetus (when 99% of abortions are performed) will never be. I hope that wasn’t too complicated.


    Your grievance shall be avenged.

  • invalid-0

    1. It’s OK to end human life in the womb.
    2. It’s not OK to end human life in the womb.

    Makes perfect sense to me.

  • invalid-0

    Abortion is the saddest thing to do. Everyone doesn’t like abortion. But for some reasons, women think of abortion because they are not yet ready to have a big responsibilities. But what if God told you that, he can’t bring you up in this world right now because he have a lot of responsibilities to attend to you. How would you feel about that? Don’t you think that you are being selfish? We should be sensitive with how unborn children feels. I’m sure they also want to laugh, run and see the world, even though there are problems in the world, I’m sure they will learn how to get a long. I hope this will help. Thanks! :)

  • invalid-0

    …He WON’T bring you up in this world because His responsibilities ARE too burdensome. Don’t portray God as someone all-powerful who could go back and undo every wrong humanity has committed. There’s gonna be a lot of disappointed souls on Judgement Day, when God rewards those who had abortions and punishes those who prevented even more. All God needed was one birth, Jesus! He got that, and nothing more was required from humanity, except to mind our own individual business “Let he who is without sin,…”