Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Aborting Health-Care Reform

As the legislative battle begins to get medical attention for millions, Senate Republicans are stalling Kathleen Sebelius' confirmation to lead the Obama reform agenda as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Barren of ideas, they are in a late-term effort to win the hearts of right-to-lifers by making an issue out of campaign contributions to Gov. Sebelius by a doctor who heads an abortion clinic.

Michael Steele, the GOP chair, has emerged from his Rush Limbaugh fiasco to harrumph: "Significant questions remain about Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ evolving relationship with a late-term abortion doctor as well as about her position on the practice of late-term abortions. The Senate should not vote, nor should Gov. Sebelius be confirmed, until these questions are answered fully and completely."

The problem is that, during the Senate hearings, there were few questions on the subject and, if any remain, the Governor answered them this week by vetoing a Kansas bill to restrict late-term abortions, saying, "The provisions in this bill that would allow for the criminal prosecution of a physician intending to comply with the law will lead to the intimidation of health care providers and reduce access to comprehensive health care for women, even when it is necessary to preserve their lives and health.

"While I agree that we should try to reduce the number of abortions, it cannot be at the increased risk to the life or health of women."

Clear enough? Majority Leader Harry Reid let his spokesman nail Steele: “This is nothing more than a baseless attack from someone desperate to stake a claim as the leader of the leaderless Republicans and get right with the right-wing of his party.”

And a misbegotten one at that.

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