Biden HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra Refuses to Admit Partial-Birth Abortions are Illegal

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 6, 2022   |   3:38PM   |   Washington, DC

As a national controversy has erupted over five babies who were killed in late-term abortions — and possibly illegally in partial-birth abortions — HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra today refused to admit the gruesome abortion procedure is illegal.

As LifeNews has reported, abortions are legal up to birth in the nation’s capital and a Washington D.C. abortion clinic that publicly admits killing viable babies in abortions may have gone even further and engaged in infanticide or partial-birth abortions that violate federal law.

Members of Congress are currently seeking an investigation of the aboritons after pictures were posted online of 5 full-term aborted babies whose bodies were obtained from the abortion business.

With that in mind, lawmakers asked Becerra about partial-birth aboritons and go nowhere. As he has repeatedly done, Becerra danced his way around admitting that they are legal while claiming he will enforce the law even though he clearly has no intention of enforcing something he won;t say is illegal in the first place.

As Fox News reports about the question from Republican Indiana Rep. Jim Banks:

“Do you concede that partial-birth abortion, as defined in 18 U.S. code, section 1531, is illegal and punishable by fine, imprisonment or both?” Banks asked.

“Congressman, I’ll try to respond to this as best I can,” Becerra began. “And that’s to say that having been a former attorney general, I know how important it is to not only follow the law, but enforce it. As secretary of HHS I will not only comply with the law, but enforce it, and when it comes to issues that sometimes we hold different and sometimes very deeply held beliefs I will respect where people’s opinion is, but my job is to make sure I’m enforcing the law.”

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“Do you concede that partial birth abortion is illegal per the law?” Banks pressed.

“Under the Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade, women have reproductive rights that they are entitled to enforce and that they are entitled to have the government respect. I will do everything I can to make sure a woman’s rights and reproductive care are defended,” Becerra responded.

“So I take that as no, you don’t concede that that is the law,” Banks stated.

“I gave you the answer,” Becerra said.

As LifeNews has reported, shocking images of five babies killed in late-term abortions were released that showed the brutal reality what happens to unborn children who are killed in legal late-term abortions in America. The babies killed in the abortions were reportedly killed at the Washington Surgi-Center and their bodies were reportedly given by a whistleblower at the clinic to a pro-life advocate in Washington who was arrested this week for protesting inside the abortion center.

Their late gestational ages as well as their apparent sustained injuries potentially show violations of the Partial Birth Abortion Act as well as the Born Alive Infants Protection Act which are federal crimes. And that’s what lawmakers want D.C. and federal officials to investigate.

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“We demand that a thorough investigation is conducted into the death of each child. In order to accomplish such investigation, we request and fully expect the city to conduct autopsies on the children and preserve all collected evidence. Finally, at the conclusion of such examinations, we urge the city to properly and respectfully bury the babies.”

The Members wrote in their letter, “Last week, DC Metropolitan Police recovered the remains of five preborn children apparently from the Washington Surgi-Clinic in Washington, DC, a facility operated by the late-term abortionist Dr. Cesare Santangelo. Instead of ensuring that the horrific deaths of these children were properly investigated, Metropolitan Police made the assumption that each child died as the result of a legal abortion. It is our understanding that Metropolitan Police made this assumption without conducting any medical evaluations. We also understand from press reports that the DC medical examiner does not plan to perform autopsies on the children. This is completely unacceptable.”

The Members continued, “These five children, like all children, have inherent value and deserved better than abortion—they deserved life. But at a minimum, they deserve to have their deaths investigated to ensure that no DC or federal laws were broken. In light of this information, we demand that a thorough investigation is conducted into the death of each child. In order to accomplish such investigation, we request and fully expect the city to conduct autopsies on the children and preserve all collected evidence. Finally, at the conclusion of such examinations, we urge the city to properly and respectfully bury the babies.”

They have asked the mayor of Washington, D.C. and the Attorney General to answer the following questions:

  1. As you are aware partial-birth abortion, as defined in 18 U.S. Code § 1531 is illegal and punishable by fine, imprisonment or both. How did the Metropolitan Police reach the conclusion while recovering the remains of each child that all of the children died as the result of a legal abortion?
  2. In order to ensure that no child was subjected to a partial birth abortion and that no child was born alive and left to die, will you commit to conducting a thorough investigation of the death of each child?
  3. As part of such investigation, will you commit to ensuring the preservation of each child’s remains for appropriate examination during the investigation?
  4. Will you direct the Chief Medical Examiner to perform an autopsy on each child to determine the method and cause of death in accordance with § 5–1405 of D.C. Code?
  5. Will you direct a subsequent autopsy to be completed by an independent, licensed pathologist to confirm the findings of the Chief Medical Examiner?
  6. If an autopsy suggests any of the children were victims of criminal activity, will you immediately refer the evidence to both the Department of Justice and the Attorney General for the District of Columbia for criminal prosecution?
  7. Will you commit to properly and respectfully burying each child?

The lawmakers noted that it appears the babies may have been killed in partial-birth abortions or infanticides, which would be illegal even though abortions up to birth are allowed in the nation’s capital..

Two doctors who have examined the photos of the babies agree and say they think its possible the babies were killed in infanticides.

Dr. Robin Pierucci, a neonatal specialist, said in response to viewing the photos, “I can say with confidence that these babies died at an age when they were viable, premature people.”

Dr. Kathi Aultman, retired board-certified OBGYN and former abortionist, reviewed photos and video of the abortion victims and observed the following: “Baby Boy #1 appears to be in the 3rd trimester near term and looks like he should have been in the nursery. He is totally intact, but his skin is somewhat macerated. He appears to be completely normal and was probably aborted using the induction method, which uses medication to induce labor. He looks about the same size as my granddaughter when she was born.”

Dr. Aultman continued, “Baby Girl #1 appears to be in the late 2nd or early 3rd trimester. She appears intact and completely normal except for trauma to the neck. There appears to be an incision at the base of the skull, and the head has been decompressed. If the baby was alive at the start of this procedure, it would be considered a Partial-Birth Abortion and would be illegal. She is larger than most of the babies I cared for in the NICU, and if the abortion hadn’t killed her, she would have had a decent chance of survival at this gestational age and size.”

Additional photos and video footage show what is considered a well-developed baby in the fetal position and encased by his or her amniotic sac.

Dr. Aultman comments, “It is difficult to discern the gestational age, but this baby is probably in the late 2nd or early 3rd trimester. An induction method would have been used for the abortion. Unless this baby was injected with a drug designed to kill prior to the abortion, he or she may very well have been born alive and then left to die. Without rupturing the amniotic sac, it would not have been possible to cut the cord to cause fetal death before the abortion.”

Lila Rose, who heads the pro-life group LiveAction, told LifeNews that the images indicate potential criminal activity.

“The infant bodies discovered by pro-life activists in Washington, D.C. are horrific and disturbing evidence of the infanticide that may be occurring inside an abortion facility within our nation’s capital, and are indicative of the violence happening in abortion facilities nationwide,” Rose said.

Her group is demanding that D.C. police complete an in-depth investigation into the Washington Surgi-Clinic and the deaths of these five children and calling on Congress to conduct a thorough inquiry to ensure this clinic is not violating the federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act and the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

“How did these babies die? What will happen to their bodies?” Rose continued, “Each of these lives deserves dignity and respect. The public should demand justice and reach out to their legislators to do so on behalf of these babies. Our nation is wounded from this horror, but we will never heal until we confront this grave inhumanity head-on and insist it ends.”

PAAU director Terrisa Bukovinac also says the babies’ deaths should be investigated as violations of federal law.

“We are aware that the Metropolitan Police Department has stated they do not believe a crime has been committed against these babies under D.C. law. However, the laws in question are federal laws enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice,” she said.

However, the District of Columbia is refusing to conduct autopsies or further investigate the circumstances of the death of the five children. As the Washington Post reports:

The city medical examiner does not plan at this time to perform autopsies on the five fetuses police removed from a Capitol Hill rowhouse earlier this week, according to two D.C. officials with knowledge of the case, even though the group involved in their discovery claims the fetuses were all late-term abortions performed illegally.

The clinic declined to comment, but its website says it performs abortions up to 27 weeks of pregnancy, which is at the very end of the second trimester.

Ashan Benedict, D.C. police’s executive assistant chief of police, told reporters Thursday that the fetuses appeared to have been aborted “in accordance with D.C. law [and] there doesn’t seem to be anything criminal in nature about that except for how they got into this house.”

On Friday, D.C. police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said the matter “remains an ongoing investigation.” He said, “While there are still a number of questions, we can’t provide details at this point.” He said the origin of the fetuses also remains part of that inquiry. Sternbeck said D.C. police have not filed any charges or made any arrests in regards to the found fetuses.

According to the Post, D.C. officials could perform autopsies if they received additional information about the babies and the circumstances under which they were killed.

One of the babies has been named Baby Boy 1. LiveAction presents more info on the circumstances surrounding his death:

Perhaps the largest and most developed baby found was a boy, whose gestational age has been estimated to be around 28-32 weeks – well within the third trimester, past the point at which the majority of experts agree that preborn babies can feel pain, and beyond the point many states have restricted abortions for medical and ethical reasons. For example, the Mississippi law that recently came before the Supreme Court limits abortion to just 15 weeks based on concerns surrounding fetal development, pain, and other factors.

Photos and video of the first baby boy reveal that he remained largely intact, raising questions about how his life ended. He also has what appears to be a fully formed face, fingers, toes, and all the primary features normally visible in a newborn.

Dr. Kathi Aultman, a former abortionist who later became pro-life, told Live Action News that he “appears to be in the 3rd trimester near term and looks like he should have been in the nursery.” Dr. Patti Giebink similarly said via email that this baby boy “looks close to term gestation … [a]nd pretty much intact,” adding that she couldn’t “believe they would abort a nearly full term baby unless there was something terminally wrong with the baby, but it doesn’t appear so.”