Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius told some Georgetown University graduates Friday that a “process of conversation and compromise” is required when religious issues intersect with policy decisions.
Sebelius, speaking to graduates of the university’s Public Policy Institute, said that to participate in policy debates “will also require the ethical skills you have honed – the ability to weigh different views, see issues from other points of view, and in the end, follow your own moral compass.”
In her remarks, she did not discuss the 2010 health care law or refer directly to controversies about contraception coverage that drew attention to her appearance at the Jesuit university.
Leaders of the Catholic Church have argued that inviting Sebelius to speak at graduation was inappropriate given that she was deeply involved with the development and implementation of the law, which requires that employers provide contraception coverage even if it is against their religious beliefs.
During the speech, someone stood up and shouted at Sebelius: “You’re a murderer!” The person was escorted away from the scene, and Sebelius kept talking. She received an enthusiastic reception from the graduates themselves.