Pro-Abortion Surgeon General Pick Unconfirmed as Health Care Debate Continues

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 8, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Surgeon General Pick Unconfirmed as Health Care Debate Continues

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 8
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The debate over a pro-abortion, government-run health care bill is continuing but someone who could be a major player in the discussion remains outside of it. President Barack Obama’s nominee for Surgeon General, pro-abortion Alabama physician Regina Benjamin, remains unconfirmed for the post.

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.

She has been on the board 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.

Following her nomination, 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."

As a result, it might be good news for the pro-life movement that Benjamin is not yet in place.

Benjamin’s nomination has been held up over revelations over her connection to Burger King as a paid consultant. Detractors say that and her weight should prevent her from being the nation’s top health representative at a time when the nation is facing childhood obesity issues.

Should the Senate confirm her appointment, she could have an impact on abortion.

Congress is currently considering a handful of health care reform bills that will eventually be combined into one package that will be sent to Obama for his signature. The bills currently set up the decision-making for inclusion of abortion with the federal government, and she could have an impact as Surgeon General in deciding whether abortions are covered.

That worries Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League.

"Some things are developing very quickly that will test her mettle right away," he said in comments received.

On June 19, the House Committees on Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor announced that a new Advisory Committee will decide which services will be covered.

"And who is in charge of the Health Benefits Advisory Committee? The Surgeon General," Donohue said.

"Benjamin should not wait until the Senate considers her appointment to let the public know where she stands. As a practicing Catholic, she cannot chair a committee that would support mandated abortion coverage in employer insurance plans," Donohue told "There is no ‘common ground’ on this issue."

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.

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