Senate Democrats are demanding a role call vote for one of President Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services nominees after he said he would follow orders regarding defunding Planned Parenthood.
Trump nominated Texas physician Dr. Brett Giroir as the assistant secretary of health of the HHS Department. Giroir’s role would include oversight of two programs, Title X and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, that currently give tax money to Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups.
Democrats delayed final approval of Giroir, singling him out from 65 other nominees who received unanimous approval in the Senate, according to Kaiser Health News. A vote on his nomination will have to wait until September when the Senate reconvenes.
Pro-abortion U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington state, said she was not pleased with Giroir’s answers during his confirmation hearing last week.
“After carefully reviewing his qualifications, I am unconvinced Dr. Giroir would be willing to stand up to this administration’s ideological attacks on women in a key leadership role at HHS,” Murray told Kaiser Health News.
“Attacks on women” has become a code phrase for abortion in liberal, pro-abortion circles.
Here’s more from the report:
President Donald Trump signed legislation in April that allows states to block Title X money from going to Planned Parenthood and other clinics that also perform abortions. The administration’s budget proposal called for a cut of $213.6 million for teen pregnancy prevention programs and research grants that go to more than 80 institutions. Congress has not yet set funding levels for 2018.
Challenged by Murray during a confirmation hearing last week about his views on the administration’s proposals, Giroir’s replies were polite, cooperative—and unrevealing.
For example, when Murray asked Giroir if he believed family planning funds should be made available to all providers (suggesting she was including Planned Parenthood), Giroir affirmed his belief that family planning services are important but said, “If there are restrictions that are handed down to me, I am obliged to follow the law.”
A number of Trump’s appointees to the HHS Department also have upset abortion activists. They slammed Teresa Manning, formerly of the National Right to Life Committee and the Family Research Council, after Trump appointed her as deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Population Affairs, which gives grant money to Planned Parenthood.
Title X is just one of the sources from which Planned Parenthood receives taxpayer funding, but Manning – and Giroir, who would oversee the office, if approved – could play an instrumental role in implementing pro-life policies in the department.
Just days before Manning’s appointment, Trump chose another pro-life leader, Charmaine Yoest, for a top post in the HHS Department. Yoest is the former president of Americans United for Life, one of the most prominent pro-life organizations in the county. Yoest is the new assistant secretary of public affairs — a position that shapes communications efforts for the entire agency.
She replaced pro-abortion President Barack Obama’s appointee Kevin Griffis, who now works for the Planned Parenthood abortion chain, according to Politico.
These appointments continue Trump’s pro-life record. He started in January by reinstating the Mexico City policy, defunding International Planned Parenthood. He continued by defunding the pro-abortion UNFPA and signing a bill to allow states to defund Planned Parenthood abortion company.