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Vitter Voices Grave Concerns Over Sebelius Appointment

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Vitter Voices Grave Concerns Over Sebelius Appointment

"I was already concerned about the Governor's position on a number of issues, especially those relating to abortion," said Vitter. "The fact that Governor Sebelius has accepted thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from George Tiller - a highly-controversial individual who specializes in performing late-term abortions, a practice far beyond those performed in the majority of abortion clinics - provides some insight into her views on abortion that raise many important concerns about her nomination. Further, her responses to questions regarding her campaign donations from Tiller and her slow effort to fully disclose those donations in their entirety have been troubling."

Vitter expressed reservations about her initial answers to the Senate Finance Committee regarding the amount of money she received from Tiller. In her initial response to that committee, Sebelius reported that she received $12,450 from Tiller, but later revised her filing to nearly $40,000.

"In Louisiana , we have a sizable number of religious community hospitals that actively exercise their conscience protections, while providing critical services to residents. If these protections are overruled by HHS, it would restrict access to these medical facilities, potentially putting them in financial danger," added Vitter.

Vitter cited concern over whether Sebelius, if named as HHS Secretary, would make a policy change to include abortion as a recognized basic health care service. He believes that this designation of abortion as a basic health care service could ruin Catholic and religious hospitals that exercise their conscience protections. Earlier this month, Vitter sent a letter to Sebelius detailing his concerns regarding her position on conscience provisions, which protect health care workers and providers from being forced to cooperate in performing abortion-related services.

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