McConnell: Secretary Becerra Misrepresents Federal Law on “Barbaric” Partial-Birth Abortion
‘When President Biden nominated Secretary Xavier Becerra to run the Department of Health and Human Services, it was clear what the nation was getting: A hardened culture warrior with no health or medical expertise. Where Secretary Becerra did have experience was trying to impose a far-left social agenda.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding pro-life policies:
“When President Biden nominated Secretary Xavier Becerra to run the Department of Health and Human Services, it was clear what the nation was getting: A hardened culture warrior with no health or medical expertise.
“Where Secretary Becerra did have experience was trying to impose a far-left social agenda.
“He fought and fought in federal court to make religious nonprofits pay for things that violate their conscience… until he finally got creamed in the Supreme Court by a ruling that was 7-2.
“Before that, he’d fought and fought to force crisis pregnancy centers to advertise abortion, trying to coerce a certain kind of left-wing speech out of private groups. The Supreme Court slapped him down then, too.
“This was the resume that Secretary Becerra brought to his current position.
“Well, last week, in a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Secretary either forgot about federal law on abortion or revealed that he just doesn’t care what’s on the books.
“When a member of Congress used the common term ‘partial-birth abortion,’ the Secretary coyly suggested he didn’t know what that meant.
“He tried to get the Congressman to use the more clinical verbiage that helps the far-left conceal this grotesque subject.
“And then, when pressed, Secretary Becerra claimed, quote, ‘there is no law that deals specifically with the term ‘partial-birth abortion.’”
“Well, the Secretary may wish that were the case. But it isn’t. That’s completely false.
“U.S. Code, Title 18, Section 1531 is the federal ban on partial-birth abortions. It uses that exact term seven times. It defines the banned practice in all its barbaric detail.
“Back in 2003, I was proud to join with almost two-thirds of the Senate when we passed this mainstream law. Our federal ban on this awful procedure remains widely popular with the American people. It is the bare, bare minimum.
“Yet President Biden’s HHS Secretary is either ignorant of this federal law… or wants to pretend it doesn’t exist.
“Remember, the far left has kept America one of just seven countries in the world that allow elective abortions on demand after 20 weeks.
“Countries across Europe, like France, Spain, Germany, Norway, and Denmark, all limit elective abortion before 20 weeks.
“The far left wants America to be an outlier on the global fringe.
“And President Biden’s HHS Secretary either doesn’t know or won’t admit that the phrase ‘partial-birth abortion’ even appears in federal law.
“A misstatement like that is embarrassing enough. The radicalism that lies behind it is even worse.”
Related Issues: Defending Life