Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton tore into Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra Wednesday for “trying to ignore” a U.S. law banning partial-birth abortion.
“It’s no surprise that a pro-abortion radical like Xavier Becerra is trying to ignore the law banning partial-birth abortion—he voted against it when he was a congressman,” Cotton told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“But that shouldn’t matter,” the senator said. “Becerra is an officer of the United States government. He doesn’t get to pick and choose which laws to enforce and which to ignore.”
On Wednesday, when asked by Republican Florida Rep. Gus Bilirakis whether he believes that “partial-birth abortion is illegal,” Becerra responded that “partial-birth abortion” is not a medical term and then said that “there is no law” that specifically deals with partial-birth abortions.
Becerra himself voted against the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act as a congressman. He has not responded to multiple requests for comment from the DCNF.
“There is no medical term like partial-birth abortion, so I would probably have to ask you what you mean by that, to describe what is allowed by the law,” the HHS secretary said Wednesday. “Roe v. Wade is very clear, settled precedent, a woman has a right to make decisions about her reproductive health, and we will make sure we enforce the law and protect these rights.”
The law passed & Supreme Court upheld it.
This law bans killing a child when it is already partially born.
You voted AGAINST this law.
Shame on you. pic.twitter.com/vESTylewGS
— Susan B. Anthony List (@SBAList) May 12, 2021
“There is no law that deals specifically with the term partial-birth abortion,” Becerra said. “We have clear precedent in the law on the rights that women have to reproductive health care, and we will follow the law and protect the rights of all Americans to their healthcare.”
The legislation defines the procedure as “an abortion in which a physician deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living, unborn child’s body until either the entire baby’s head is outside the body of the mother, or any part of the baby’s trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother and only the head remains inside the womb, for the purpose of performing an overt act (usually the puncturing of the back of the child’s skull and removing the baby’s brains) that the person knows will kill the partially delivered infant, performs this act, and then completes delivery of the dead infant.”
The law calls partial-birth abortion “a gruesome and inhumane procedure that is never medically necessary and should be prohibited.”