When the killing of human beings becomes a pre-meditated methodical policy — put forward as a public good — massive slaughter results, and can be called a “holocaust.”

History puts a face on leaders who considered mass murder a political “good” — leaders like Adolph Hitler of Germany, Mehmet Talaat of Turkey, Pol Pot of Cambodia, Mao of China and Joseph Stalin of Russia.

But what about American leaders responsible for our own ongoing holocaust: abortion? History has yet to put a face to them, but those who value the sanctity of human life are obligated to ferret them out and hold them responsible.

This is the latest in an occasional California Catholic Daily series, “Faces of the American Holocaust,” in which we put faces to those behind the mass murder of innocents in the U.S.

Kathleen Sebelius

By R.J. Grace

In her role as Secretary of U.S. Health and Human Services, self-identified Catholic Kathleen Sebelius is spearheading President Obama’s healthcare reform efforts. She has also been a very vocal proponent for “gay rights,” including the effort to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. So vocal, in fact, that she violated the law by campaigning for a presidential candidate in her capacity as Secretary of HHS when she told the audience at a meeting for the Human Rights Campaign that the gains made by President Obama for gay and lesbian rights would be wiped out if he weren’t re-elected. She also urged them to vote for a Democratic Governor in North Carolina.

She wasn’t prosecuted, however, even though the U.S. Office of Special Counsel concluded that she had violated the Hatch Act, which forbids federal employees from making political remarks or recommendations as they serve in their capacity as federal employees. She admitted she had “made a mistake” but avoided prosecution after her department re-classified the event, after the fact, as “personal political activity” and then reimbursed the U.S. Treasury for the cost of the meeting.

Sebelius is so radical in her promotion of abortion that, at first, the Obama administration was slow to offer her the job at HHS. Before taking her current position at HHS, Sebelius had been the governor of Kansas from 2003 to 2009. While governor, she was so active and radical in her pro-abortion efforts that she was publicly instructed to refrain from receiving communion in 2008 by her bishop, Archbishop Joseph Naumann.

In 2009, Archbishop Raymond Burke, prefect for the Apostolic Signatura, the highest court of the Catholic Church, also advised Sebelius that she should refrain from communion. This was in reaction, at least in part, to her veto as governor of proposed laws that would have limited abortions in Kansas. “After pastoral admonition, she obstinately persists in serious sin,” said Archbishop Burke.

Sebelius has become a national figure as the result of her work as the chief architect of the HHS mandate that will require religious organizations such as Catholic schools, hospitals and charities to subsidize birth control for their employees. When called to testify before the US Senate Finance Committee regarding the mandate, she admitted, in an exchange with U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-SC, that she had not read any Supreme Court cases relating to religious liberty before writing the HHS mandate.

Sebelius repeatedly claimed to have sought “balance” as she drafted the law, but when asked by Rep. Gowdy if she could name the three criteria used in seeking constitutional balance, she could not name even one. “I don’t pretend to be a constitutional lawyer” was her response. Gowdy pressed her and asked if she had at least relied on a legal memo provided by constitutional lawyers and she admitted that she had not.

In earlier testimony before another House panel she claimed that the reduction in the number of human beings that resulted from abortion and contraception would mean a reduction in the cost of providing health care. When asked by a committee member who will pay for the cost of contraception she replied, “The reduction in the number of pregnancies compensates for the cost for contraception.”

On February 6, 2012 the USCCB released a document on their website (https://usccbmedia.blogspot.com/2012/02/six-things-everyone-should-know-about.html?spref=tw) entitled “Six Things Everyone Should Know about the HHS Mandate”. The six things are:

1. The mandate does not exempt Catholic charities, schools, universities, or hospitals.

2. The mandate forces these institutions and others, against their conscience, to pay for things they consider immoral.

3. The mandate forces coverage of sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs and devices as well as contraception.

4. Catholics of all political persuasions are unified in their opposition to the mandate.

5. Many other religious and secular people and groups have spoken out strongly against the mandate.

6. The federal mandate is much stricter than existing state mandates.

The US Bishops have also created a webpage to distribute PDF inserts and other literature related to protecting the freedom of religion and conscience. They can be accessed here: https://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/conscience-protection/

On January 20, 2012, Kathleen Sebelius announced that all non-profit employers, which includes all Catholic hospitals, school and universities and charities, have exactly one year to comply with the HHS mandate. As Cardinal Dolan pointed out, “Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience. This shouldn’t happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights”