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Public Statements

Dr. Coburn Votes Against Confirming Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), a practicing physician, released the following statement today after voting against confirming Kathleen Sebelius as the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

"Governor Sebelius is a fine person with a serious commitment to public service. However, her position that it is acceptable to snuff out the lives of viable children, even at 36 weeks, is a fatal character flaw that should have disqualified her from leading the Department of Health and Human Services. Sebelius' extreme views on the issue of life, our most sacred value, are deeply troubling. Science has proven that children can survive outside the womb as early as 21-24 weeks. Her belief that a child's right to life is nullified because it is connected to its mother defies science and ethics, and is not compatible with her post," Dr. Coburn said.

"Finally, while I respect Governor Sebelius' years of public service, I reject assumption that years of public service automatically translates into managerial competence or technical expertise as the head of an agency. In Washington, both parties wrongly assume that a career in politics guarantees competence as a cabinet official. This assumption is one reason we face an $11 trillion national debt. Federal agencies, particularly HHS, are rife with waste and fraud that has gone unchecked in part because agency heads have failed to exercise strong leadership and demand financial accountability. I hope Sebelius will succeed in spite of this trend," Dr. Coburn said.

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