During a Saturday interview with NBC News’ Kate Snow at the Aspen Ideas Health conference, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra suggested his agency is considering providing taxpayer-funded transportation to women seeking out-of-state abortions. Snow asked Becerra what steps the administration is taking “to help women” in response to the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade. “Well, we’re working with centers like Planned Parenthood, we are restoring funding for Title 10, family planning services. We are working with supporters on the ground to make sure that we are providing services to women where we can,” the Secretary said. He added, “We are looking into everything, including assisting in transportation, something that HHS doesn’t typically do.” This caught Snow’s attention. “Can you do that legally?” she asked. Becerra smiled conspiratorially and said, “Talk to me later,” eliciting laughter from the audience. Snow said, “That’s a big question, right?” “I always tell my team at HHS, ‘If you’ve done your homework, then we have no right to go mild. And so, we’re going to be aggressive and go all the way. [firefly_poll] “I would tell you if … you’re recording so I won’t tell you,” he added. He smiles again, which draws more laughter from the crowd. “This is all on the record, Mr. Secretary.” Snow tells him. “We are looking at every option and among those is transportation.” Snow asks him to repeat his last remark. “We are looking at every option and among those is transportation.” Snow clarifies, “Transporting women to other states.”
Becerra was being coy because he knows that the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortion-related expenses would be a violation of the Hyde Amendment. This legislation prohibits the “use of federal funds for any health benefits coverage that includes abortion.” Exceptions to this law include rape, incest or if an abortion is required to protect the mother’s life. Biden’s lead among rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination took a big hit after his memorable “flip-flop-flip” on his support of the Hyde Amendment in the summer of 2019. Considering the Biden administration’s general contempt for the Constitution and federal laws that apply to them, they’re not likely to let it stand in their way. Kudos to Kate Snow for highlighting the issue. Another option being considered in the wake of Friday’s decision is the use of federal lands for abortion facilities. This could include the emergence of abortion clinics in national parks. For example, if you were visiting Yellowstone National Park with your family, and realized you needed an abortion, you could have one. Becerra was noncommittal about the idea during a Tuesday news conference, according to PBS. “Every option is on the table,” he said. “We will take a look at everything we can, and everything we do will be in compliance with the law.” Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One on Tuesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre appeared to throw cold water on the idea, CNN reported. Jean-Pierre said, “We understand the proposal is well-intentioned, but here’s the thing: It could actually put women and providers at risk. And importantly, in states where abortion is now illegal, women and providers who are not federal employees, as you look at the federal land, could be potentially — be prosecuted. And so this is, as we understand why they would put forward this proposal, there’s actually dangerous ramifications to doing this.” On Monday, CNN’s Dana Bash asked Vice President Kamala Harris about setting up abortion clinics on federal lands. She replied, “It’s not right now what we are discussing.” This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
Biden HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra says his agency is “looking at” using taxpayer dollars to fund transportation to other states for abortions.“Can you do that legally?” *laughs* pic.twitter.com/SeYroVxuUZ — RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 27, 2022