Gingrich on Sebelius: 'She Is Waging War on The Catholic Church’

By Matt Cover | August 8, 2012 | 12:09pm EDT

( – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on Wednesday that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was “waging war on the Catholic Church”--an apparent reference to the Obamacare regulation she finalized earlier this year that requires nearly all health-care plans to offer sterilizations, contraceptives, and abortion-inducing drugs free of charge.

“This secretary of HHS is a radical. She is waging war on the Catholic Church. She’s adopted radical positions on a range of issues,” Gingrich said during a conference call on Wednesday.

Gingrich made his remarks while discussing the HHS decision to grant waivers to the work requirements for welfare.

In its lawsuit against the HHS and Sebelius, the Archdiocese of New York cited similar comments made by Sebelius herself at a NARAL fundraising event. According to the lawsuit, Sebelius told NARAL "we are in a war” with institutions that, like the Catholic Church, believe both abortion and contraception are wrong.

“Defendant Sebelius has long supported abortion rights and criticized Catholic teachings and beliefs regarding abortion and contraception,” the Catholic lawsuit states.  “NARAL Pro-Choice America is a pro-abortion organization that likewise opposes many Catholic teachings. At that fundraiser, Defendant Sebelius said, ‘We are in a war,’ and criticized individuals and entities whose beliefs differed from those held by her and the other attendees of the NARAL Pro-Choice America fundraiser.”

“She added: ‘Wouldn’t you think that people who want to reduce the number of abortions would champion the cause of widely available, widely affordable contraceptive services? Not so much,’” reads the lawsuit.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and President Barack Obama. (AP Photo)

During the conference call, asked about how the HHS was defining “work” in its policy on welfare-to work, and Gingrich said, “I think this is part of what confuses some people in the media about the intensity of our reaction. George Orwell wrote a great essay called ‘Politics In the English Language,’ in which he said you could tell when someone is truly a scoundrel by the language they use to hide being a scoundrel. This secretary of HHS is a radical. She is waging war on the Catholic Church. She’s adopted radical positions on  a range of issues."

"Why would any everyday American believe that she is going to enforce--she makes it optional--that she’s going to enforce a work requirement?" said Gingrich. "The fact is, when we wrote the bill, Section 407 was not wave-able precisely because we distrusted people like the secretary of HHS.  ….”

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