Federal City Digest

Federal City Digest

(By Michael Williamson -- The Washington Post)
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sebelius's Record Raises Ire Of Antiabortion Activists

The Obama administration remains mum about who might take over the Department of Health and Human Services -- and when that might be. But conservative religious activists have already launched a preemptive campaign against top contender Kathleen Sebelius, below, our colleague Ceci Connolly reports.

The Kansas Democrat and Roman Catholic is "the most rabidly pro-abortion governor" in the country, according to the effort being waged by Operation Rescue through its Web site, which calls her and President Obama "birds of a feather." The group is encouraging antiabortion activists to write Congress to oppose her.

As governor, Sebelius vetoed a bill that would have required clinics to report to the state the reason for any late-term abortion it performed. After her veto, the local archbishop called on Sebelius to not take the sacrament of Communion.

"Abortion is a personal decision made by a woman in consultation with her doctor, her family and her clergy," Sebelius, in town for the National Governors Association meeting, said in response to the attack. "While my beliefs teach me that abortion is morally unacceptable, as a public official, I have worked hard to ensure that abortions are rare, safe, and within the bounds of the law."

WHAT TO WATCH

-- Third time's the charm? President Obama will nominate Gary Locke as commerce secretary, White House aides say.

-- Pleased to finally have their secretary, Labor Department employees will welcome Hilda L. Solis, confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday, first thing in the morning.

-- Vice President Biden chairs the first recovery plan implementation meeting at the White House, which the Treasury, interior, transportation, education and energy secretaries are expected to attend, along with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and Mark Childress, chief of staff at the still-leaderless Department of Health and Human Services.

-- On Sunday, it was Earth, Wind and Fire at the White House. Tonight, Obama will honor Stevie Wonder, above, who will be given the second annual Gershwin Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Library of Congress.


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