Is the Biden administration attempting to unilaterally erase federal law? On Wednesday, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra denied the existence of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, a law that bans the brutal procedure of intact dilation and extraction abortions. He explicitly said, “There is no law that deals specifically with the term ‘partial-birth abortion.'” He suggested that Roe v. Wade (1973) would allow such a practice.
That is a grotesque lie and it appears to be an attempt to erase history and the plain text of American law.
In 2003, Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. In 2007, the Supreme Court upheld the law in Gonzales v. Carhart. Yet Becerra suggested the law simply does not exist. Perhaps he is still bitter that it passed despite the fact that Becerra himself voted against it.
Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) pressed Becerra on the law in a hearing on Wednesday.
Referring to Becerra’s confirmation hearing, Bilirakis noted that Becerra said “that when it comes to laws related to abortion, ‘My job will be to make sure that I’m following the law.’ Do you agree that partial-birth abortion is illegal, sir?”
“As I said in response to some of those questions during my confirmation hearing, we will continue to make sure we follow the law,” the secretary began. “Again, with due respect, there is no medical term like ‘partial-birth abortion,’ so I would probably have to ask you what you mean by that to describe what is allowed by the law. Roe v. Wade is very clear. It’s settled precedent. A woman has a right to make decisions about her reproductive health, and we will make sure that we enforce the law and those rights.”
Bilirakis again pressed the secretary on the partial-birth abortion ban, asking whether Becerra agreed with “this particular law.”
“Again, as I said, there is no law that deals specifically with the term ‘partial-birth abortion,'” Becerra replied. “We have clear precedent in the law on the rights that women have to reproductive health care and we, as I said in that confirmation hearing, we will follow the law.”
The law passed & Supreme Court upheld it.
This law bans killing a child when it is already partially born.
You voted AGAINST this law.
Shame on you. pic.twitter.com/vESTylewGS
— Susan B. Anthony List (@SBAList) May 12, 2021
Bilirakis should have pressed Becerra on the medical term, which is “intact dilation and extraction.” Becerra attempted to weasel out of the question by faulting the congressman for not using that term, instead of “partial-birth abortion.” Yet the secretary’s response to the second question left no doubt — Becerra explicitly denied the very existence of the law meant to protect unborn babies from getting killed after being partially delivered.
While Becerra pledged to follow the law, his remarks suggested that the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 simply does not exist, or that Roe v. Wade — which the Supreme Court decided three decades before the ban became law — somehow erases the ban on partial-birth abortion.
PJ Media reached out to HHS, asking whether or not the department would apply the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act as settled law and whether it considers the law somehow invalid due to Roe v. Wade, as Becerra’s remarks suggested. HHS did not respond to PJ Media’s request for comment by press time.
“This shameless lie is standard for the most radical pro-abortion administration in history,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement. “It should not be hard to recognize that partially delivering a baby and then suctioning his or her brain is not only illegal, but utterly inhumane.”
“During his confirmation hearings, Xavier Becerra dodged questions about his stance on partial-birth abortion — when an unborn child is partially delivered and then killed — deflecting with repeated claims that he would ‘follow the law’ as head of HHS. Now the top health official in America, Becerra outright denies the existence of a law banning partial-birth abortion since 2003,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement.
Dannenfelser noted that “Becerra can hardly plead ignorance on this topic” because he voted against the bill in 2003.
If Becerra will deny the very existence of this law protecting unborn babies, how else will he abuse his authority?