Pro-life and religious liberty advocates see dark days ahead if California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is confirmed by Congress as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Former Vice President Joe Biden has said he will nominate Becerra to the post if he’s inaugurated on Jan. 20. If Becerra is confirmed, he would be the first Hispanic holder of the position.
Becerra at HHS presents a grim prospect for pro-life and religious liberty advocates interviewed this week by The Epoch Times.
Harle said ADF “had to go all the way to the Supreme Court to stop Becerra from forcing religious pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for abortions.”
“Becerra also continued the prosecution of pro-life journalists that was started by then-Attorney General Kamala Harris,“ he said. ”And while churches in California had to wage court battles in order to open their doors, abortion facilities have been treated as ‘essential’ businesses.”
The result, Harle said, was that Becerra effectively gave “the abortion industry a free pass to continue exploiting women throughout a pandemic.“ ”Becerra’s record shows that he has no regard for conscience or protecting life,” he said.
If confirmed by the Senate, Becerra would take over day-to-day administrative and policy management of a department with more than 80,000 federal employees and a $1 trillion budget.
Butterfield’s take is especially significant because he’s a former senior adviser for conscience and religious freedom at HHS under Trump, where he launched a new division dedicated to protecting religious freedom in health care.
“As California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra repeatedly attacked long-held religious freedom protections for doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals and labeled federal protections that protect health care professionals from being coerced into performing abortions against their will as ‘offensive’ and ‘dangerous,’” Butterfield told The Epoch Times.
“As attorney general, he defended the state government’s desire to force pro-life pregnancy clinics to deliver contact information for abortion providers, and this law was held unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court,” Tyler, also a partner in the Tyler & Bursch law firm, told The Epoch Times.
“Now he’s being put in a powerful position on a federal level that will certainly lead to the unconstitutional imposition of national mandates related to COVID-19 and other controversial issues.”
Whether Becerra ultimately gets that powerful position depends most immediately on the outcome of Georgia’s two Senate races on Jan. 5. At stake are the seats of Republican incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.
Republican HELP members have been somewhat reserved to date regarding the possibility of a Becerra nomination.
Becerra didn’t respond to requests for comment.