One of the biggest challenges in Care Net’s quest to promote abundant life is public policy. Legislation can limit the reach or effectiveness of centers in Care Net’s network while expanding the reach of abortion providers.
Now, it appears that President-Elect Joe Biden is planning to nominate Xavier Becerra as his Secretary of Health & Human Services. Candidly, if this nomination is confirmed, this would be bad news for pregnancy centers across the country. Becerra is an abortion extremist who, during his 24 years in Congress, voted against a ban on partial-birth abortion, voted against criminal penalties for hurting an unborn baby during another crime, and supported taxpayer-funded abortions. In 2017 he became California’s Attorney General, and got right to work prosecuting pro-life activist, David Daleiden on behalf of Planned Parenthood.
As Attorney General of California, Becerra has been busy working to make sure that every pregnancy center or clinic in the state would be forced to make abortion referrals or to post signs about state-sponsored abortion services. This law, called the FACT Act, would have imposed steep penalties on our affiliates that would have caused many to close. Thankfully, the Supreme Court overturned this law with a 5-4 ruling in 2018.
But Becerra was determined not to give up his fight against the pro-life movement in the state of California. Next, he led a lawsuit against a Trump administration regulation that banned federally funded contraception clinics and doctors from encouraging abortion. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Trump administration’s rule in February of this year.
Becerra also spearheaded a case against a policy that would have exempted certain organizations—specifically faith-based organizations—from the Obamacare contraception mandate. In State of California v. Little Sisters of the Poor, Becerra fought to force Catholic organizations to offer contraception -- including options that work to induce miscarriage -- in their employee health plans (including insurance plans for celibate nuns!). The Supreme Court ultimately sided with the nuns.
Ultimately, none of us can predict what the next few years will hold in the realm of public policy. We need to pray for God’s help and for protection for our centers to continue to be able to operate as usual. The Senate’s responsible for confirming cabinet positions, like the one Becerra seeks at the Department of Health and Human Services. Let’s pray they choose men and women who will protect life.