CV NEWS FEED // A group of Republican senators confronted the Biden administration over a potential policy that would use taxpayer money to fund abortions among unaccompanied minors at the southern border.
“We write today in fervent opposition to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) proposed rule, ‘Unaccompanied Children Program Foundational Rule,’” stated the nine senators in a Wednesday letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra.
The rule “blatantly violates prohibitions on the use of federal funds to facilitate abortions” and “should be immediately withdrawn,” the senators wrote:
Instead of adhering to the law, responding to Congressional inquiry, heeding Congress’ warning, and treating unaccompanied minors with the dignity and respect they deserve as young mothers, HHS ORR has decided to codify these flagrant violations of the Hyde Amendment through the proposed rule.
The proposed rule would continue the practice of directing ORR staff to submit requests to transfer pregnant minors to ORR facilities in other states in order to circumvent state laws that protect life while continuing the practice of distributing dangerous chemical abortion drugs without direct medical supervision to vulnerable children.
Additionally, the proposed rule would now include abortion to the definition of “medical services requiring heightened ORR involvement,” to prioritize the taking of unborn life rather than prioritizing the interests of the Unaccompanied Alien Child (UAC).
The lawmakers also noted that the potential rule “neglects the conscience and religious freedom protections that Congress has afforded to ORR employees and contractors.” Specifically, it “would shockingly require ORR staff and contractors to transport children across state lines for the purpose of obtaining an abortion.”
They also observed that it might run afoul of a provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “which prohibits federal agencies, including HHS, from discriminating against employees because of their religious beliefs, observances and practices, which includes religious objections to abortion and disregard for state laws protecting life.”
The senators who signed the letter were Sens. Steve Daines, R-MT, James Lankford, R-OK, Roger Marshall, R-KS, Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-MS, Joni Ernst, R-IA, Mike Braun, R-IN, Rick Scott, R-FL, Josh Hawley, R-MO, and Ted Cruz, R-TX.
Becerra, who is vehemently pro-abortion and pro-LGBTQ, is a self-professed “committed Catholic.”
In July, he testified before a House subcommittee and struggled to explain the scandal of the estimated 85,000 missing unaccompanied migrant children for which ORR was responsible. ORR is an agency of HHS.
As CatholicVote reported at the time, during the hearing, Rep. Kat Cammack, R-FL,
held up a large jar filled with numerous colorful objects for Becerra to see clearly. “Do you know what this is?” she asked him.
“It looks like candies or snacks,” Becerra answered, unsure of his response.
“Unfortunately, the reality is much more grim,” the congresswoman noted. “These are wristbands the cartels force people to wear when they cross the border – and if you’re not wearing one when you cross, the cartels will take a limb or an appendage.”
“This is what these people are forced to wear, and it dictates what cartel they belong to,” she continued, using air quotes over the word “belong.”