The New York Times is reporting that likely President-elect Joe Biden has chosen California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to serve as the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) in his administration. Becerra is known for supporting radical pro-abortion policies and for continuing the litigation against investigative journalist David Daleiden
As the article states, Becerra is a choice that only became clear “over the past few days” and it’s a rather surprising one as well.
A former congressman, Becerra is known for supporting abortion legislation like voting against a ban on partial-birth abortion, voting against making it a crime to hurt a preborn child during the commission of a crime and voting for taxpayer-funded abortion.
When he became California’s Attorney General after Kamala Harris was elected to her Senate seat in 2016, he continued her campaign against David Daleiden, the undercover journalist who exposed Planned Parenthood’s alleged sale of preborn remains to medical companies.
Becerra filed 15 felonies against Daleiden, “marking the first time any person in the state has been criminally prosecuted for allegedly violating California’s video recording laws.” According to the law, it’s illegal to record without the knowledge of all people involved. However, this law has never really been enforced when it comes to undercover journalist investigations but has been used against Daleiden. Both Harris and Becerra have close ties to Planned Parenthood.
Becerra is perhaps best known for the case NIFLA v. Becerra. In 2015, California passed the FACT (Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency) Act, which specifically targeted pro-life pregnancy resource centers by requiring them to post about California’s public reproductive health services, including abortions, and other things. Two pro-life pregnancy resource centers and the pro-life organization NIFLA filed suit against the state alleging that the law infringed on their right to free speech.
The case went all the way up to the Supreme Court where, in a 5-4 decision, the court ruled in favor of the pro-life pregnancy resource centers.
“NIFLA v. Becerra is not just about whether or not to hand out abortion information on a piece of paper or post it on the walls of our pro-life centers. It is about the right belonging to all American citizens to be free from government-compelled speech, and from being coerced into promoting a message that contradicts their values,” Anne O’Connor – NIFLA Vice President, co-counsel said in the lawsuit on behalf of NIFLA’s member centers.
It’s also unclear what experience and expertise Becerra will bring to the role, as he seems to have no health care or health care management experience. In the midst of an international pandemic, it would make sense to bring in someone who has a professional background in this the medical space, whether in management or as a physician, not a politician. The New York Times reports that the medical community has allegedly been “caught off guard—and unhappily so—by the news of Mr. Becerra’s selection.”
Perhaps the reason for Becerra’s likely nomination, which sources say will be announced sometime this week, is that the Attorney General of California has been a strong defender of the Affordable Care Act, which is also known as Obamacare. It is a landmark piece of legislation passed during the Barack Obama years, and something that Biden will likely attempt to expand during his presidency.
Though Becerra’s nomination hasn’t been officially confirmed by Biden’s team, it is a sign that HHS and the entire administration will likely move in a radically pro-abortion direction in the future and try to stifle the work of pro-life pregnancy resource centers across the country.
Photo from Sipa USA/REUTERS