Obama Surgeon General Pick Regina Benjamin May Back Abortion, But She Won’t Tell
by Steven Ertelt
July 20, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — More confirmation is coming in that Regina Benjamin, the Alabama physician President Barack Obama selected to be his Surgeon General, backs abortion. But, no one may know her position for certain because Obama officials say she won’t comment until after she is confirmed.
Last Monday, LifeNews.com was the first media outlet to report on Benjamin’s abortion position.
The news story highlighted how she backed an American Medical Association proposal for future doctors to get more abortion education — which the AMA later admitted was a position calling for actual training in doing abortions.
Then, the White House confirmed that Benjamin’s views on "reproductive health," typically a code word for abortion, mirror Obama’s pro-abortion views.
Now, the Washington Post, in a weekend story, is reporting that the White House won’t follow up on its original comments and confirm that Benjamin backs abortion, but the newspaper makes it appear off-the-record sources confirm it.
"The White House declined to say whether Benjamin supports a woman’s right to an abortion, but sources close to her selection say she does," the Post reported Saturday.
While the evidence is mounting that Benjamin does support legalized abortions, the public, and members of the Senate who will vote to confirm her, may not know until she answers the question during her hearings or after she is confirmed.
Rebecca Adelman, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, has said that Benjamin can’t answer the question until after her confirmation and is prohibited from speaking publicly.
Meanwhile, a debate is brewing about the Surgeon General’s role in the abortion divide.
David Satcher, a former surgeon general under President Bill Clinton, suggests that the top doctor’s view on abortion isn’t important and doesn’t matter.
"We all have our religions, but when you speak as the surgeon general to the American people, it’s not about your religion," he told the Post. "I don’t see why the surgeon general has to get involved in a discussion about abortion."
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council has an answer.
"While that sounds nice and polite, it implies that in order to serve in a public capacity you have to check the guiding tenets of your faith at the door," he said. "Of course, those who divorce their espoused moral convictions from public service are really only kidding themselves: We act in accordance with what we truly believe. Setting aside one’s faith and the moral convictions that flow from it only demonstrates how relatively unimportant that faith is to its adherent."
In part, Perkins says the Surgeon General may be deciding abortion policy, especially in the context of the debate on health care and whether the governmental program covers or pays for abortions.
"It only stands to reason that if this is the standard expected of the nation’s top doctor, under a government healthcare system it would be expected of all," he told LifeNews.com.
The Surgeon General could also influence the debate on conscience rights for health care workers.
"Christian doctors and healthcare workers would be forced to choose between living by the teachings of Scripture and abandoning their careers of service or agreeing to serve in a public health care system devoid of moral absolutes where abortion and euthanasia are simply policy decisions," Perkins says.
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