Pro-life leaders are raising the alarm over Joe Biden’s selection of Xavier Becerra to be secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, labeling him an extremist on abortion while pointing to his history of supporting pro-choice causes.
Becerra has served as California’s attorney general since 2017, but previously served 12 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.
He received a perfect rating of 100 percent from NARAL Pro-Choice America during his last Congressional term, and as attorney general is perhaps best known for bringing charges in 2017 against representatives for the pro-life Center for Medical Progress for undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood executives discussing the sale of fetal parts.
The chargers outraged pro-life activists, who believed Planned Parenthood – not the Center for Medical Progress – should be the one receiving legal scrutiny.
“Far from ‘uniting’ the country, Biden has proven yet again he is an extremist on abortion,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List. “Becerra is aggressively pro-abortion and a foe of free speech.”
As attorney general of California, Dannenfelser said, Becerra “continued” what former California Attorney General Kamala Harris started “by persecuting citizen journalists who exposed Planned Parenthood’s role in baby parts trafficking.”
Pro-lifers also have criticized Becerra for:
- Defending in court a California law, the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act (FACT Act), that required licensed crisis pregnancy centers to notify women that California offers free or low-cost abortions. The law also forced the centers to offer women a phone number in case they want to obtain an abortion. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the law likely violated the First Amendment.
- Leading a multi-state coalition to try and force faith-based groups such as Little Sisters of the Poor to cover birth control and abortion-causing drugs in their employees’ insurance plans.
- Leading multi-state coalitions in lawsuit against pro-life laws in Missouri, Arkansas, Ohio and Mississippi. Among the laws Becerra challenged was one banning abortions due to a Down syndrome screening.
- Voted against a ban on partial-birth abortion as a member of the House.
Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action, criticized the selection.
“In picking Xavier Becerra, @JoeBiden shows that not only will he force taxpayers to fund the slaughter of preborn children at the will of their parents (repeal of #Hyde), but he supports the prosecution of Americans who dare to expose the unprecedented evils of Planned Parenthood,” Rose tweeted, referencing Biden’s pledge to support taxpayer funding of abortion by opposing the Hyde Amendment.
In picking Xavier Becerra, @JoeBiden shows that not only will he force taxpayers to fund the slaughter of preborn children at the will of their parents (repeal of #Hyde), but he supports the prosecution of Americans who dare to expose the unprecedented evils of Planned Parenthood— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) December 7, 2020
Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, labeled Becerra “deeply” concerning for pro-lifers.
“He has turned his office as attorney general of California into an industrial machine [of] pushing the agenda of Planned Parenthood and the culture of death,” Mohler said Monday on his podcast The Briefing.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Justin Sullivan/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.