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Senate narrowly confirms radically pro-abortion Xavier Becerra as HHS secretary

Xavier Becerra

Xavier Becerra, the extreme pro-abortion attorney general from California who is currently prosecuting undercover pro-life journalists, has been confirmed 50-49 as secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), though he has no experience in the health care sector.

Becerra was voted in largely along party lines, with Republican Susan Collins of Maine joining Democrats in the confirmation vote, including two who claim to be pro-life: Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Republicans had previously battled to keep Becerra’s nomination from moving out of committee, which Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said should have disqualified him.

“There’s a reason Mr. Becerra could not get one single Republican vote to move out of committee,” McConnell said. “It’s because he is such a thoroughly partisan actor with so little subject-matter expertise and such a demonstrated history of hostility toward basic values like the freedom of conscience,” McConnell said. “There is nothing about Mr. Becerra’s record in Congress or in California to suggest he is the best possible person to run the Department of Health and Human Services in the middle of a once-in-a-generation viral pandemic.”

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse also called attention to Becerra’s attacks on the First Amendment while confirmation hearings were taking place. “While the beltway talks endlessly about which senators got mean tweets from a lefty activist, a wannabe tyrant with a nasty record of attacking the First Amendment is going to quietly become the leader of the federal government’s largest agency,” Sasse told the National Review. “Becerra has shown nothing but contempt for free speech and religious liberty — he’s a hell of a lot more dangerous than Tanden.”

Senator Mitt Romney also blasted Becerra for his support of violent partial-birth abortions. “Most people agree that partial-birth abortion is awful. You voted against a ban on partial-birth abortion,” Romney said during confirmation hearings, later adding, “I think we can reach common ground on many issues, but on partial-birth abortion, it sounds like we’re not going to reach common ground there.”

A united coalition of pro-life groups urged lawmakers to oppose Becerra’s nomination due to his demonstrated pro-abortion extremism in California. As AG, Becerra fought to preserve taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood and led a years-long legal crusade against the Little Sisters of the Poor. He also attacked pro-life pregnancy centers. As previously reported by Live Action News:

… Becerra was the defendant in the case NIFLA v. Becerra, in which the state of California attempted to force pro-life pregnancy centers to promote abortion through government-mandated messaging in posted signage inside facilities and in any advertising. California’s Reproductive FACT Act was extreme in its singling out of pregnancy centers, and the Supreme Court voted 5-4 in favor of the pro-life plaintiffs.

But his most notable crusade was against a pair of pro-life journalists, a First Amendment violation so egregious that journalism groups and animal rights organizations both spoke out against them.

READ: Xavier Becerra is not a moderate seeking ‘common ground’ with Americans

Before Becerra became California’s AG, the position was held by Biden’s Vice President, Kamala Harris. Becerra and Harris both persecuted pro-lifers, with David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt as the most notable examples. Lead investigators for the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), Daleiden and Merritt uncovered Planned Parenthood’s participation in the illegal trafficking of aborted baby body parts. Harris didn’t investigate the abortion chain and actually worked with Planned Parenthood to craft a bill which would make recording undercover conversations with “health care providers” a crime. She also secretly met in person with Planned Parenthood executives just two weeks before Daleiden’s home was raided. E-mail exchanges between Harris and Planned Parenthood uncovered by the Thomas More Society showed that they had worked together to get a search warrant, allowing them to get CMP’s full, unedited videos.

Becerra has followed Harris’ lead as attorney general, continuiing to refuse to investigate Planned Parenthood. Becerra instead filed 15 charges against Daleiden and Merritt, almost immediately refiling more charges after a judge ruled in favor of Daleiden and Merritt and overturned 14 of the original charges.

Live Action founder and president Lila Rose issued a statement criticizing Becerra’s nomination:

Xavier Becerra has a record of using the power of government to target and attack pro-life Americans. We are deeply disappointed in his confirmation. Senator Collins, who claims to be a moderate, and Senators Casey and Manchin, who say they are pro-life, voted to appoint a radical, pro-abortion activist lawyer, with no medical experience to one of the highest health positions in federal government.

Knowing his history and giving Xavier Becerra even more power as the Secretary of Health and Human Services signals that the Biden administration not only wants to promote and expand the killing of preborn children, but they also want to use government as a tool to quash the active national debate on abortion and bully pro-lifers into silence.

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