Her address was interrupted once by a protester who, shortly after she began speaking, began to yell. His cries were difficult to make out for reporters in the room, but he used the term "abortion." He was pulled from the room and continued yelling for several minutes outside.
The contraception mandate requires employers to include coverage for birth control in their health insurance plans without requiring a co-pay by employees. Catholic groups have argued this violates the religious freedom of individuals who oppose birth control or consider some methods tantamount to abortion.
Sebelius noted in her speech that public policy debates can be contentious, and the conversations over difficult issues “painful.”
“But this is a strength of our country, not a weakness,” said Sebelius. “In some countries around the world, it is much easier to make policy,” she said. “The leader delivers an edict and it goes into effect. There’s no debate, no press, no criticism, no second-guessing.”
To read more about Sebelius's remarks, click here.