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60 Pro-Life Leaders Pen Letter Urging Senate To Reject ‘Divisive’ Xavier Becerra Nomination

Xavier Becerra

With the confirmation hearings for President Joe Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services selection Xavier Becerra scheduled for Tuesday, a coalition of more than 60 pro-life leaders sent a joint letter urging the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions as well as the Finance Committee to reject the nomination.

“Xavier Becerra has been portrayed as moderate, but he is infamous among pro-lifers for his decades-long record as a vocal pro-abortion advocate. In Congress and as attorney general of California, Becerra not only joined pro-abortion efforts — he led them. President Biden could not have picked a more eager pro-abortion activist to head HHS and we urge senators to reject his nomination,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.

The coalition notably includes President of March for Life Action Tom McClusky, National Right to Life Committee President Carol Tobias, and President Thomas Glessner of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates.

The letter states:

Mr. Becerra’s confirmation would be divisive and a step in the wrong direction. We understand that the president needs to assemble a cabinet; however, Mr. Becerra has proven himself to be an enemy of the health of women and the unborn. He cannot be entrusted with our national health programs and policies and is not qualified to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The California attorney general was nominated by Biden in December 2020 and has been swiftly rebuked by conservative organizations and lobbying groups for his ardent pro-abortion record. In 2013 and 2015, Becerra voted against legislation that would effectively prohibit abortion after five months. Also in 2015, the Biden nominee voted nay on HR 3504, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. While most Democrats joined Becerra in these two votes, his pro-abortion stance goes back much further.

Becerra has a considerable record backing taxpayer funding for abortions. In his first congressional term in 1993, he vetoed the Hyde Amendment to the LHHS Appropriations Bill (H.Amdt.185 to H.R.2518). Since 1977, the Hyde Amendment has nonetheless passed and prohibited federal funds to be used for abortion except in cases of rape or incest.

In 2011, 2014, and 2015, he voted against the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act that would pass in the House in 2011. The 2011 version was sponsored on a bipartisan level by Reps. Chris Smith, R-N.J., and Dan Lipinski, D-Ill. Then in 2016, Becerra voted along with Democrats on federal funding for abortion under Federal Employees Health Benefits.

“In picking Xavier Becerra, @JoeBiden shows that not only will he force taxpayers to fund the slaughter of preborn children at the will of their parents (repeal of #Hyde), but he supports the prosecution of Americans who dare to expose the unprecedented evils of Planned Parenthood,” tweeted Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action, in December. He voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in 2003, which would nonetheless pass that same year and be upheld in the 2007 Supreme Court case Gonzales v. Carhart.

The letter sent to the Senate comes after Judicial Crisis Network, Heritage Action for America, and Americans for Public Trust announced a more than $2 million advertising campaign on Thursday targeting Becerra and associate attorney general nominee Vanita Gupta.

“President Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, has spent his entire career fighting for socialized health care, catering to the abortion industry, trampling on Americans’ religious freedom, and pushing the policies of liberal dark money groups,” Jessica Anderson, executive director of Heritage Action for America, said in a statement. “If confirmed, he would bring his extreme agenda to HHS. Heritage Action is working to expose the radical personnel and policies being advanced by this administration, and we are urging every Senator to reject Becerra’s nomination.”

Last May, Becerra led an amicus brief along with Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford opposing the Trump administration’s “Protect Life Rule” that passed in May 2018. The Title X regulations redirected taxpayer money from abortion to “comprehensive family health and planning centers” that do not perform abortions. Becerra and Ford’s lawsuit failed, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling 7-4.

The Trump administration announced that HHS would withhold $200 million in Medicaid funding to the state of California in December. This was after Roger Severino, former head of the Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, found that Becerra forced his state’s pregnancy centers to advertise for abortions, thus violating the law.

Then in January 2020, Severino’s organization found that California had violated federal law by forcing religious ministries and pro-life groups to subsidize abortions in health care plans. Becerra was provided 30 days to comply with federal conscience protections but refused.

“Mr. Becerra is an enemy to every pro-life policy and law and has demonstrated complete disregard for the religious and moral convictions of those opposed to the brutal act of abortion,” the letter states.