HHS Secretary Refuses to Condemn Abortions Up to Birth

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra refused to condemn abortions up to birth.

Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) asked Becerra if there were any instances in which he would support abortion restrictions. He posed the scenario in which there was a healthy baby and a healthy mother one day before the due date.

“If the mother is healthy and the baby is healthy, do you really support abortion of the baby up to the moment of birth?” Kennedy asked. “Let’s suppose — suppose it’s the day before the due date, and the baby is fully formed and the baby is healthy and the mother is healthy, do you support aborting — the right to abort the baby then?”

“I’ve heard no one say that,” Becerra declared.

Kennedy then read a statement Becerra made in 2020, when he said, “No government, state or federal, has the right to make decisions for a woman about her body or her health care.”

“Your words, not mine,” Kennedy explained. “I ask you again, up to the moment of birth, if the mother’s healthy and the baby’s healthy, do you believe that there should be the right to abort that baby? Up to the moment of birth.”

Becerra again avoided a direct answer, saying instead, “I have always supported Roe v. Wade, which does not do what you just said, and I know of no one who is proposing or advocating what you just announced. I would hope that what you would recognize is that that should not stop a woman from having the right to decide for herself with the consultation of her physician what she should do.”

Senator Katie Britt (R-AL) similarly questioned Becerra.

“If Roe v. Wade were the law of the land, and a woman wanted to take the life of her child the day before her child was due, or the day after her child was due, then you support her ability to do that?” she asked, adding, “There’s seven states in this country, and the District of Columbia, that allow you to take the life of a child the moment before a child is born, so clearly you support a woman’s right to choose to do that?”

Becerra said that Britt’s example was “fiction” and asked for a “particular example.”

“If it actually is fiction, then why not say no?” Britt responded. “If that is out of the realm of possibility?”

“I just think when we’re talking about this and you’re saying so boldly, ‘No taxpayer dollars go,’ and you actually won’t answer the question when it comes to Roe v. Wade (…) I just believe when we’re talking about budgets, I want you to know where I’m coming from and why I believe wholeheartedly, with every ounce of me, that we have to preserve the Hyde Amendment.”

The Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion except in the event of life endangerment, rape, or incest.