Pro-life lawmakers and activists on Thursday condemned the confirmation of Xavier Becerra as health secretary, warning that Becerra is a “culture warrior” and an “extreme left-wing ideologue.”
“Becerra is a culture warrior who made his name in bloody-knuckled politics by bullying nuns,” Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse said Thursday, referring to Becerra’s battles with a religious organization over an Obama-era contraception mandate.
Becerra faced strong opposition from pro-life advocates, religious leaders and Republican lawmakers, who previously warned that the California attorney general is an “extreme political activist” and “an enemy to every pro-life policy and law.”
Despite this opposition, the Senate confirmed Becerra on Thursday on a 50-49 vote.
Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton also condemned Becerra’s confirmation, saying in a Thursday statement: “Becerra is an unrepentant advocate of California-style lockdowns, socialized medicine, and abortion on demand. His confirmation will damage the country.”
Catholic Vote president Brian Burch called Becerra a “culture warrior” and an “extreme left-wing ideologue.”
“Xavier Becerra’s confirmation as Secretary of Health and Human Services poses a clear and present danger for Catholics and all people of faith,” Burch said in a statement.
“Given his record of aggressive hostility to free speech, health care freedom, and the traditional values of marriage, family, and the sanctity of life, Americans must be prepared for what is coming.”
Becerra “has repeatedly trampled on our most fundamental constitutional rights,” Burch said. “We can only assume Becerra’s clear contempt for religious freedom will continue in his new role.”
Becerra repeatedly evaded questions on his support for partial-birth and taxpayer-funded abortion during his confirmation hearings.
Responding to a question from Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney on partial-birth abortion, Becerra said: “I have worked, as I have mentioned, for decades trying to protect the health of men and women, young and old, and as attorney general, my job has been to follow the law and make sure others are following the law.”
He responded to a question from Republican Indiana Sen. Mike Braun on taxpayer funding of abortion by saying, “I can say to you that we will follow the law when it comes to the use of federal resources. There I can make that commitment that we will follow the law.”
Republican Montana Sen. Steve Daines, founder of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, promised to counteract any of Becerra’s pro-abortion actions.
“Xavier Becerra has made a career out of defending the abortion industry and promoting far-left priorities like free health care for illegal immigrants,” Daines said Thursday. “He has shown that he will take this agenda so far as to infringe on religious freedoms.”
Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser and National Right to Life president Carol Tobias emphasized that Becerra is “deeply out of step” with the American public on the issue of abortion.
“The Biden-Harris administration has dropped all semblance of the ‘unity’ they once promised. To carry out the Administration’s extreme abortion goals, Senate Democrats have pushed through Xavier Becerra to lead the federal agency at the center of determining abortion policy,” Dannenfelser said in a statement.
Tobias called Becerra “unqualified” to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, adding that he has “no health care experience but plenty of abortion advocacy.”
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