Becerra, who until now was the attorney general of California, has next to no expertise in the realm of health care or adjacent policy. Though the Biden administration and Democratic politicians contend that curtailing the COVID-19 pandemic is the most important issue before them, the president has chosen a man to lead HHS who hasn’t a single health-care accomplishment to his name.
Instead, Becerra has devoted his lengthy political career to advancing radical policies on a host of social issues and as attorney general has wielded the power of his office to compel citizens to compromise their fundamental beliefs.
During his time in Congress, serving as a U.S. representative from California, Becerra quickly demonstrated his dedication to causes much beloved of the far left. He managed to score a 100 percent rating from Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America, with votes such as when he opposed the federal ban on heinous and medically unnecessary partial-birth abortions.
Asked about that vote during his confirmation hearing late last month, Becerra said only that he understands “that people have different deeply held beliefs on this issue” and that he hopes to be able to work “to reach that common ground on so many issues.”
In short, the nominee does not regret his vote against a bill so bipartisan that it was passed even after a presidential veto and was later upheld by the Supreme Court. Perhaps afraid of appearing insufficiently committed to the pro-abortion cause, Becerra was unwilling to concede that his position in favor of partial-birth abortion procedures contradicts both public opinion and mainstream medicine.
As attorney general of California, Becerra was known most of all as a radical culture warrior. He lost a case at the Supreme Court after championing a California law that compelled crisis-pregnancy centers to advertise for the state’s free or low-cost abortion program — despite those groups’ fundamental opposition to abortion and related commitment to providing women with alternatives.
Becerra has spent the last several years persecuting the people who exposed wrongdoing in the abortion industry. He led a coalition of states in suing the federal government, an effort to ensure that abortion companies such as Planned Parenthood could continue receiving federal funding. He led a second crusade attempting to force the Food and Drug Administration to loosen safety regulations on the chemical-abortion drug.
But Becerra is perhaps most famous for his lawsuit against the Trump administration, objecting to its provision of religious exemptions to the HHS Obamacare mandate, which requires all employers to subsidize contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs, regardless of their moral objections.
Though at his hearing Becerra attempted to escape scrutiny for this lawsuit, the effect of his legal action, had it been successful, would have been to force religious groups — including the Little Sisters of the Poor, a charitable order of Catholics nuns — to provide products that they believe are morally wrong.
As the head of HHS, Becerra will be in a prime position to wield administrative power on a grand scale and impose similar policies on the nation at large.
The department, under his leadership, has already proposed undoing a Trump-administration rule that prevented abortion providers from claiming family planning funds.
It is almost guaranteed that Becerra will quickly remove all religious exemptions that have heretofore protected some groups from the HHS mandate.
There is little that can be done now to stop the radical, anti-life policies that will come from HHS, but Biden’s choice to nominate Becerra — and the Democrats’ choice to confirm him — illustrates that they care far less about unifying the country and resolving the pandemic than they do about using administrative power to impose their abortion agenda on the entire country.
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