Barack Obama Picks Pro-Abortion Senator Tom Daschle as Health Secretary
by Steven Ertelt
November 19, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — In his second major decision as the president-elect, Barack Obama has chosen pro-abortion former U.S. senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota as his Health and Human Services Secretary. Daschle will replace pro-life advocate Mike Leavitt, who has been working on protecting pro-life doctors and nurses.
The former Senate Majority Leader reportedly accepted Obama’s offer according to two Democratic Party sources.
To become official, Daschle’s confirmation requires an affirmative Senate vote.
As the health secretary, Daschle will likely play a role in shaping Obama’s health care plan, which has come under fire for possibly including abortion coverage or mandating that hospitals or insurance companies cover abortions.
Daschle would also be in a key position to rescind the protections the Bush administration is expected to put in place any day now for pro-life doctors and medical centers.
The Bush protections make sure medical facilities and medical personnel are not forced to be involved in abortions that violate their moral or religious views. The new HHS rules strengthen existing laws by providing for funding cuts for agencies or medical centers that violate them.
Daschle has a long pro-abortion voting record as a member of Congress and was defeated by current pro-life Sen. John Thune in part because of the abortion divide.
The last two years of Daschle’s tenure depict the kind of pro-abortion voting record he maintained.
In March 2003, Daschle voted for a Senate resolution endorsing Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that allowed virtually unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy and ushered in an era of nearly 50 million abortions.
While Daschle voted for the national partial-birth abortion ban that the Supreme Court eventually upheld, he cast two votes on pro-abortion measures that would have weakened it to the point of being ineffective.
Daschle also supported making taxpayers fund abortions in a variety of circumstances, including funding groups that promote and perform abortions overseas and the performance of abortions at military base hospitals.
He also voted for an alternative to the Unborn Victims Bill, the measure that provides protection and justice for women and children like Laci and Conner Peterson who are victims of violence, that would have been far weaker.
The measure Daschle backed would deny that the baby had suffered any injuries or death in such an attack.
Daschle’s record was so poor that the National Right to Life Committee gave him only a 27 percent pro-life voting record from 2003-2004, a 0 percent record in 2001-2002, an 11 percent record in 1999-2000, and a 20 percent record from 1997-1998.
Obama’s first personnel decision involved selecting pro-abortion Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois as his chief of staff.
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