Joe Biden will nominate California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) as secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the department notorious for railroading religious freedom via the Obamacare contraception mandate. Becerra has attacked religious freedom and free speech with zeal at the beck and call of radical-Left activists in Planned Parenthood and other groups.
Becerra has abused his power as attorney general in pursuit of silencing pro-life activists and organizations.
In 2014, David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released a slew of undercover sting videos showing Planned Parenthood staff admitting to selling aborted baby body parts for profit, with one even joking about buying a Lamborghini with the profits. Planned Parenthood hired the firm Fusion GPS, now notorious for assembling the Trump-Russia dossier, to obscure the facts and suggest the videos were deceptively edited.
Kamala Harris, Biden’s running mate, was serving as California’s attorney general at the time. In 2016, her office searched Daleiden’s home, seizing his video footage and preparing a legal case against him. In 2017, Harris’s successor, Xavier Becerra (another politician bankrolled by Planned Parenthood), filed 15 felony charges against CMP and Daleiden.
Peter Breen, special counsel at the Thomas More Society, briefed PJ Media on the ongoing case last July. He argued that Daleiden’s film was taken in “entirely public places.”
“I could point you to undercover investigations that are being shown on the evening news in Los Angeles. Under the standard they are applying to David, those would be felonies,” the lawyer argued. “The other reporters are being lauded for their brave investigative techniques, but David is being prosecuted.”
“I would say this is an abuse of the criminal process,” Breen told PJ Media.
Pro-choice law professors have defended Daleiden’s right to engage in undercover journalism.
Becerra also vigorously defended a California law that mandated pregnancy resource centers (PRCs), most of which are pro-life, must advertise abortion on placards. In National Institute for Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra (2018), the Supreme Court struck down the law, defending the pregnancy centers’ free speech.
Becerra received perfect scores from Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America for his tenure representing downtown Los Angeles in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2017. Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) nominated him for the attorney general role in 2016 when Harris won her election to the U.S. Senate. Planned Parenthood affiliates of California proudly endorsed Becerra for the 2018 primary.
California’s attorney general also filed more than 60 lawsuits against the Trump administration. He sued the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) after the agency proposed new lease sales for oil and gas extraction through fracking in California.
Becerra also sued the Trump HHS after the agency struck down an Obama administration rule redefining “sex” in federal discrimination law. The Obama rule twisted the meaning of the term in order to force health care providers to encourage experimental transgender “treatments” like cross-sex hormones and surgery. The Trump administration restored the biological meaning of “sex,” but Becerra sued to force transgender ideology on the federal government.
Joe Biden campaigned on a platform to “restore the soul of America,” but he has doubled down on the country’s partisan divisions. Nominating a Planned Parenthood lackey like Becerra to HHS throws gasoline on the fires of the culture war.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.