A Pro-Life Nightmare: Daschle Appointed as Secretary of Health and Human Services
From Catholic Online:
WASHINGTON (Catholic Online) - President-elect Obama has made his choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services – former South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle. He had been a close advisor to President - Elect Obama during the presidential campaign and had recently written a book on his proposals to improve health care in America called "Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis."
“Of all the proposals that Obama wants to enact, health care requires the most input and tough negotiations,” one of the Democratic officials told Politico.com. “No one knows the House and Senate like Tom Daschle.”
The Department of Health and Human Services, Daschle’s new assignment, is the agency responsible for abortion policy. Should the Freedom of Choice Act be ratified, this is the department through which it would be administered. With Dascle's appointment it will be headed by a strong pro-choice supporter who also describes himself as a Catholic.
It wasn’t that many years ago that Tom Daschle was the pro-life movement’s worst congressional nightmare. Over the years, as a Senator and Senate Minority Leader, he constantly supported pro-choice legislation and initiatives.
In 1997, for example, Daschle proposed what he called a "compromise" regarding partial-birth abortion, banning the procedure while allowing exemptions for any woman who claimed mental or physical health reasons for having such a late-term procedure. Most saw this tactic as a smokescreen to guarantee the option to abort children by this grisly procedure akin to infanticide.
Describing himself as a Catholic, in 2003 the 61 year-old senator from South Dakota received a letter from Bishop Robert Carlson, the bishop of the Diocese of Sioux Falls, instructing the legislator to stop referring to himself in that manner.
Carlson later told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that he was bewildered by Daschle's position on abortion. "NARAL claims him as one of their number-one supporters. I don't understand how he can be in touch with South Dakotans as much as he is, and yet consistently have a pro-abortion record."
Daschle left the senate involuntarily in 2005, losing re-election to Republican John Thune by a narrow margin of 49 to 51 percent. Thune represented South Dakota as a senator who was strongly in favor of the Family Marriage Amendment and pro-life.