By Kathleen Gilbert and Steve Jalsevac

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 3, 2009 ( – Kansas’ U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, who has long identified with the pro-life movement, has shocked pro-life leaders by supporting the nomination of extreme pro-abortion Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Brownback issued a joint statement with fellow senator from Kansas, Pat Roberts, congratulating the Governor.

“It’s an honor for the State of Kansas to have an elected official appointed to the president’s cabinet,” stated the senators. “We are hopeful Governor Sebelius will be a voice for Kansas and rural America at the Department. We look forward to working with her on issues important to the state including a National Cancer Institute Designation at the University of Kansas Cancer Center.”

The pro-life community across America has almost unanimously spoken out against the nomination of Sebelius, whom Planned Parenthood once called a “champion” of their cause. Sebelius has fought consistently against legal protection for the unborn, so much so that her bishop, Catholic Archbishop Joseph Naumann, publicly admonished the governor to refrain from Holy Communion.

Pro-life activists widely consider Sebelius a particularly inflammatory candidate because of her association with Kansas’ infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller. Sebelius has frequently pursued abortion policy in accord with ProKanDo, the political action committee headed by Tiller. Tiller himself has reportedly also contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Sebelius campaigns.

American Life League President Judie Brown told (LSN) that she was greatly disappointed in Sen. Brownback, whose presidential nomination campaign last year she had avidly supported.

“I think we’ve just lost pro-life leadership in the U.S. Senate, and it’s a tragedy,” said Brown.

“I’ll never use ‘pro-life’ to describe him again. People have just lost their moral compass – which means Obama’s winning.”

Popular pro-life blogger Jill Stanek lamented the damage sustained to pro-life efforts by the senator’s welcome.

“Their [the KS Senators’] support will give squishy Republicans cover to vote for her appointment and make it difficult for pro-life Republicans to oppose it,” wrote Stanek. She pointed to news sources and liberal blogs that agreed Brownback’s support cleared the way for the Senate to welcome Sebelius, and gave the pick a “bi-partisan” stamp.

“This was not a mistake to be swept under the rug, as some pro-lifers wish,” said Stanek. “A pro-life politician trying to advance in power, as Brownback wants to do, cannot be excused for disavowing pro-life principles along the way.

“Every action has ramifications one way or the other. This one was bad.”

Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), also expressed dismay at Brownback’s words.

“As an early supporter of Senator Sam Brownback for President and as a long-time ally of his in the U.S. social policy fights, I am profoundly disappointed in Senator Brownback’s endorsement of the pro-abortion Catholic Governor Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services,” Ruse told the Catholic News Agency (CNA).

“She supported partial birth abortions performed on unborn Kansas babies. That Senator Brownback is proud of her appointment is deeply disturbing.”

Brownback also raised questions among pro-lifers last year when he supported Steve Howe’s campaign against incumbent Phill Kline as the next District Attorney of Kansas’ Johnson County.

Kline and his team have said that they fully expected to get Brownback’s support because of Kline’s strong pro-life record and his previous public support for Brownback’s successful Senate run and Republican presidential candidate bid. They were astounded when the pro-life senator instead threw his weight behind Kline’s opponent.

Kline has been hailed as a hero by pro-lifers due to his pursuit of criminal charges against Planned Parenthood of Kansas and notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller. He continued the efforts to the end, despite numerous obstacles and severe damage done to his reputation in the mainstream media.

Brownback’s choice was even more surprising given that Howe’s record shows no priority given to life and family issues. Kline supporters conjectured to LifeSiteNews that Brownback’s move was pure political expediency to enhance his chances of becoming governor of Kansas in the next election.

Kline lost the election and recently left the state to teach at Liberty University in Virginia.

To contact Sen. Brownback:

Washington office:
303 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-6521
Fax: (202) 228-1265

See related coverage:

Obama Nominates Extreme Pro-Abortion Gov. Sebelius as Health Secretary