By Marie Smith, Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues
Editor’s note. This is excerpted from a post that appeared here.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is an expansive department of the U.S. government with sweeping oversight on policies related to health in the U.S. and diplomatically, including abortion. The many and varied agencies that the Secretary and Assistant Secretary oversee include Administration for Children & Families, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health, Office for Civil Rights, the Office of Global Affairs, and the Office of Population Affairs.
As a result, President Biden’s nominees for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Xavier Becerra, and for Assistant Secretary, Dr. Rachel Levin, have received intense scrutiny for their radical views as they undergo Senate confirmation hearings. Xavier Becerra, former congressman and current attorney general of California, has a radical position on abortion that former Trump administration officials and pro-life groups warned about including that in California he pushed to further expand state and federal abortion regulations, sued the Little Sisters of the Poor and filed 15 felony charges against pro-life activist David Daleiden and others for their undercover investigation of Planned Parenthood.
Sen. James Lankford [R-Ok.] organized a congressional letter to President Biden calling upon him to remove Becerra from nomination to serve as the next Secretary of HHS highlighting his lack of experience. The letter noted Biden’s words at his inauguration about uniting the country and the need to address the pandemic and reopen the country stating,
“Our nation cannot afford to lose valuable time in this battle by installing an HHS Secretary who is not up to the challenges we face. But that is exactly what you propose to do by nominating Mr. Becerra, a man with no meaningful experience in healthcare, public health, large-scale logistics, or any other areas critical to meeting our present challenges.
“Mr. Becerra’s extremism and contempt for those who take a different view contradict your calls for unity. His appointment would sow further division at a time our country needs to heal and would endanger lives at a time our citizens need life-saving treatments, vaccinations, and the freedom to work and worship together.”
Under the Trump administration, HHS Secretary Alex Azar as head of the U.S. delegation to World Health Assembly— the governing body of the World Health Organization— united a coalition of 35 countries under the Geneva Consensus Declaration to commit to protecting women’s health, the lives of unborn children, and the family. President Biden has already removed the U.S. from that consensus which asserted that “there is no international right to abortion, nor any international obligation on the part of States to finance or facilitate abortion” demonstrating his administration’s commitment to radical abortionism.