White House: Like Obama, Surgeon General Nominee Regina Benjamin Backs Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
July 15, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — White House officials have confirmed that President Barack Obama’s nominee for Surgeon General may be a Catholic, but agrees with his pro-abortion position. Regina Benjamin is a well-regarded Alabama physician who has been honored by the Catholic Church for helping poor residents of her state.
However, as LifeNews.com was the first to report, Benjamin serves on the board of directors of a pro-abortion organization and appeared to support an American Medical Association vote asking colleges to teach more about abortions.
Late Tuesday, White House spokesman Reid Cherlin confirmed that Benjamin’s position on abortion matches the radical pro-abortion position taken by Obama.
Cherlin said Benjamin "supports the president’s position on reproductive health issues."
"Like him she believes that this is an issue where it is important to try and seek common ground and come together to try and reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. As a physician, she is deeply committed to the philosophy of putting her patients’ needs first when it comes to providing care," Cherlin continued.
Benjamin runs the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in southern Alabama and, although the facility does not do abortions, staff at the center would not confirm to McClatchy newspapers whether they refer women for them.
As LifeNews.com noted in its original story on Monday, Benjamin serves as a member of the board of directors of Physicians for Human Rights, an organization which has spoken out against illegal abortions in many nations across the world.
The group also called on President Bush not to expand the Mexico City Policy, which President Obama overturned in January, that stops sending taxpayer dollars to groups that promote and perform abortions in other nations.
It also asked President Bush to ratify the CEDAW treaty that does not include abortion promotion but has been used by the United Nations to pressure numerous countries to legal abortion or expand abortions further.
Gregg Bloche, an attorney and physician who served on the Physicians for Human Rights board along with Benjamin, could not confirm to the McClatchy news service where she stood on abortion and could only say that it was not a focus of hers while she served on the group’s board.
"That is not something she’s engaged in," he said.
Benjamin has also served on the board of trustees of the Catholic Health Association, which takes a pro-life position but came under fire when its president endorsed the selection of pro-abortion ex-Sen. Tom Daschle as Obama’s health secretary.
Meanwhile, Msgr. Michael Farmer , Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Mobile, Alabama, told the Catholic News Agency he didn’t "explicitly" know where Benjamin stood on abortion.
"I would hope that her position would be in line with the Church’s position," he added. "As far as I know she has been in conformity with the Catholic Church."
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