Xavier Becerra, nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services, said Tuesday that “common ground” can be found on late-term, partial-birth abortions.
What are the details?
The stunning statement came as Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) grilled the former California attorney general over his position on abortion.
Romney asked Becerra why, during his tenure in the U.S. House, he voted against legislation that banned partial-birth abortions — Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 — which outlawed partial-birth abortions of babies who have heartbeats.
“Most people agree that partial-birth abortion is awful. You voted against a ban on partial-birth abortion. Why?” Romney asked.
Becerra began his response by explaining he respects that “people have different deeply held beliefs” on abortion, before claiming “common ground” can be found on the issue about which Romney asked.
I have worked, as I mentioned, for decades trying to protect the health of men and women, young and old. And as attorney general, my job has been to follow the law and make sure others are following the law.
So, I will tell you that when I come to these issues, I understand that we may not always agree on where to go, but I think we can find some common ground on these issues because everyone wants to make sure that if you have an opportunity, you’re going to live a healthy life. And I will tell you I hope to be able to work with you and others to reach that common ground on so many different issues.
.@SenatorRomney: "You voted against a ban on partial birth abortion. Why?"
Becerra: "I understand that people have different deeply held beliefs on this issue….We may not always agree on where to go, but I think we can find some common ground." pic.twitter.com/kGgGv33xCo
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) February 23, 2021
How did Romney respond?
The Utah Republican flatly rejected Becerra’s offer of finding “common ground” on partial-birth abortion.
“I think we can reach common ground on many issues, but on partial-birth abortion, it sounds like we are not going to reach common ground there,” Romney shot back at Becerra.
President Joe Biden has been criticized for nominating Becerra.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), for example, has been highlighting Becerra’s lack of professional experience in health industries.
“[Becerra] is not a doctor. He has no scientific background. He has no background in virology, he has never worked at a pharmaceutical company — he’s got nothing to do with health care,” Cruz explained on Fox News.
“But what is he? He is a trial lawyer!” Cruz said. “And his only experience, as far as I can tell, with health care is he sued the Little Sisters of the Poor.”
In the middle of a pandemic, Joe Biden nominated Xavier Becerra to HHS.
Becerra has no background in virology, he never worked at a pharmaceutical company, and his only health care experience is that he sued the Little Sisters of the Poor. pic.twitter.com/L2GY9ydjvm
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 23, 2021
Author: Chris Enloe