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Will Sebelius Stand Strong on the Birth Control Mandate? Kansas' Experience Sheds Some Light on What's At Stake


Written by Kari Ann Rinker for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the  original post.

I'm from Kansas.  This is a place where physicians are shot in church during Sunday service.  This is a place where pregnancy resulting from rape is compared to the inconvenience of a flat tire.  This is also a place where Governor Sam Brownback has declared the promotion of a "culture of life", signing every abortion bill that crosses his desk, no matter how extreme, while simultaneously slashing school funding and programs that assist the needy.

Kansas is also the state that gave President Obama, former Governor Kathleen Sebelius, now Secretary of Health and Human Services.  The former Kansas Governor defended the rights of women during her time as our Governor.  She acted as our backstop, vetoing anti-choice bills that were passed by an anti-choice legislative majority.  We pro-choice lobbyists worked to secure enough support in order to prevent the attempted override of her vetoes.

However, Governor Sebelius has been known to play a little politics with women’s health and has signed unnecessary abortion legislation into law, when the timing was right or when she "concluded that the bill had no constitutional flaws, did not jeopardize patient privacy and did not block access to health services."

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