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Senate Republicans Challenge HHS Nominee Xavier Becerra on Abortion Record

President Joe Biden’s Cabinet nominee Xavier Becerra would not say Tuesday why he voted against a ban on partial-birth abortion.

Republican senators pressed Becerra, the California attorney general, on his past record on abortion during Tuesday’s hearing. 


Pro-life advocates and lawmakers called on the Senate Monday to reject Becerra as the president’s choice for secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, warning that he is “an enemy to every pro-life policy and law.”

The Biden nominee repeatedly said he would follow the law in response to questions from Republican senators about abortion policy.

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“You voted against a ban on partial-birth abortion. Why?” Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, asked the Biden nominee.

“I have worked, as I have mentioned, for decades trying to protect the health of men and women, young and old, and as attorney general, my job has been to follow the law and make sure others are following the law,” Becerra said.  “I will tell you that when it come to these issues, I understand that we may not always agree on where to go, but I think we can find some common ground.”

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“I think we can reach common ground on many issues, but on partial-birth abortion, it sounds like we are not going to reach a common ground there,” Romney said.

Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., also pressed Becerra on whether he would commit to “not using taxpayer money to fund abortions and abortion providers.”

“I can say to you that we will follow the law when it comes to the use of federal resources,” Becerra told Braun. “There I can make that commitment that we will follow the law.”

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