Protecting the lives of preborn babies and supporting mothers is one of the cornerstones of Focus on the Family. This week, Congress is considering a nominee for the position as Secretary of Health and Human Services who could put vulnerable preborn babies and women at risk.
Xavier Becerra is a prominent pro-abortion activist, and currently is serving as the Attorney General of California. Through that role, he has been aggressive at going after various pro-life organizations and groups under the guise of following the “law.”
As Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., pointed out in one confirmation hearing, “(As Attorney General) you spent an inordinate amount of time and effort suing pro-life organizations. If confirmed, how do you assure us? Because I think the majority of the American people would not want their secretary of Health and Human Services focused or fixated on expanding abortion when we got all of these public health issues to deal with.”
Becerra responded, “I understand that Americans have different deeply held beliefs on this particular issue. It’s my job to defend the rights of my state.”
On March 3, Becerra’s nomination was deadlocked in the Finance Committee, in a tie 14-14 vote. Due to this, it will be up to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to bring Becerra’s nomination to the floor for a full vote.
As explained by Politico, “He is the first of President Joe Biden’s nominees not to be favorably reported out of committee, which will force Democrats to bring up a motion to discharge his nomination and hold an additional four hours of debate before a confirmation vote.”
The tie is a somewhat surprise to political pundits, as Finance Committee Republicans Bill Cassidy and Chuck Grassley are “usually inclined to give deference to presidential nominees.”
As it currently stands, with the Senate debating the latest COVID relief bill, Becerra won’t be confirmed until early next week if he’s confirmed at all.
The Senate remains in a 50-50 split between the two parties, so his nomination could potentially swing either way. If a pro-life Democrat, like Joe Manchin of West Virginia, votes against the nomination and every Republican votes the same then Becerra will have failed to meet the 51-vote threshold that he needs.
However, if everyone votes along party and philosophical lines, then Vice President Kamala Harris would act as a tie-breaking vote and confirm her successor, Harris also served as Attorney General of California, as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services.
For pro-life Americans, this should be deeply concerning. Becerra has a long record of targeting pro-life groups and policies for litigation.
After he became attorney general, Becerra continued Harris’ prosecution against pro-life advocate David Daleiden. He led the undercover operations against Planned Parenthood that exposed its alleged sale of preborn remains for profit, which is illegal. Instead of investigating Planned Parenthood’s potential wrongdoing, Harris and, subsequently, Becerra filed legal action after legal action against Daleiden.
The litigation against Daleiden has even been described by The Los Angeles Times, a left-leaning publication, as a “disturbing overreach.”
When it comes to the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of nuns who “serve the elderly poor in over 20 countries around the world,” cited rights of conscience as a reason why they did not want to cover contraception on their health care plan after an Affordable Care Act requirement. Even after the Little Sisters won their case and received conscience protections under the Trump administration, Becerra sued the former administration in order to block those protections.
Becerra is also known for voting, while a member of Congress, against a ban on partial-birth abortions, a disturbing practice where the abortionist partially delivers the child before crushing his or her skull and killing them in a late-term abortion.
As the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Becerra could potentially challenge conscience protections and force physicians and medical personnel with pro-life views to participate in abortions. He will also likely restore Title X funding to Planned Parenthood, after it was stripped under the Trump administration.
Focus on the Family is passionate about fighting for the right-to-life, and we know many of our readers are as well. Concerned constituents should consider contacting their Senator and requesting that they vote against Becerra’s confirmation. There is still time, as the final vote for Becerra’s nomination will likely occur next week.
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Photo from Reuters.