One of President Biden's most controversial nominees was confirmed today as the new Health and Human Services secretary. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, most well-known for his legal attacks on various pro-life organizations and activists, was confirmed to the HHS post on a straight party-line vote in the Senate: 50 Democrats for, 49 Republicans opposed.
Reaction was swift and uniformly negative from the pro-life community.
March for Life President Jeanne Mancini charged, "The confirmation of Xavier Becerra as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services is alarming given the fact that he has spent his career expanding pro-abortion policies and persecuting pro-life groups and individuals. He has utilized his power as Attorney General of California to punish groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor for their faith as well as the journalists who exposed Planned Parenthood's trafficking in baby body parts."
Pro-life activist Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director, said of Becerra, "This man has made it his mission to be a radical activist during his time in office, suing the Little Sisters of the Poor, who are nuns who have taken the vow of chastity, for not providing birth control. He also sued pregnancy centers in California to advertise for abortion, which is directly contrary to their mission. It's not enough for Xavier Becerra to disagree with groups of people - he has demonstrated he wants to obliterate them."
"Becerra is infamous in the pro-life movement, well known for his record of attacking pro-life policies protecting unborn life, as well as assaulting the conscience rights of pro-life Americans," said Marjorie Dannenfelser at the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List. "President Biden could not have picked a more eager and enthusiastic partner to destroy pro-life policy and expand abortion on demand."
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said, "We're disappointed to see the U.S. Senate hand the job of leading our nation out of the worst pandemic in 100 years to a man with zero training in medicine, science, pharma, or the health care world. The only real experience he has with the industry is suing hospitals, pregnancy care centers, and other entities that aren't pro-abortion enough for his liking."
Perkins went on, "As Senator James Lankford noted, President Biden could have chosen a better Secretary of Health and Human Services using LinkedIn. Instead, the man he chose is less than qualified for anything but aggressively targeting political adversaries. Biden promised to unite the country, and then he assigned the most radical advocate for the Left's pro-abortion, anti-First Amendment agenda he could find to lead the nation's largest executive agency."
Carol Tobias of National Right to Life said, "Xavier Becerra has no health care experience, but plenty of abortion advocacy, and he is being rewarded by the Biden administration for that extremism."
"Xavier Becerra's confirmation to Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services is a blow to all Americans who value religious liberty and the sanctity of life," stated Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, a policy advisor for The Catholic Association. "Becerra has spent his career advancing radical, pro-abortion policies and persecuting those who disagree with him.
"Becerra is a culture warrior and extreme left-wing ideologue who has repeatedly trampled on our most fundamental constitutional rights," remarked Brian Burch of the faith-based group CatholicVote.
He added, "We can only assume Becerra's clear contempt for religious freedom will continue in his new role. It is only a matter of time before he targets the Little Sisters of the Poor again, strips doctors and religious institutions of conscience rights, and mandates other harmful policies that assault core freedoms cherished by people of faith."
"Becerra's fanatical support of abortion resulted in the state-sponsored persecution of female-founded organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor and pregnancy centers," commented Thomas Glessner of the National Institute of Family & Life Advocates.
Glessner also said of Becerra, "He fought these small nonprofits all the way to the Supreme Court. Becerra's bullying and bigotry were on display for all to see in the so-called Reproductive FACT Act, which targeted pro-life pregnancy centers and medical clinics by forcing them to promote abortion."
March for Life's Mancini predicted, "If his record is any indication, Becerra will weaponize the more than trillion-dollar budget of the Department of Health and Human Services to attack or disadvantage those with whom he disagrees, and advance unpopular pro-abortion policies."
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