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OPINION

Biden’s Department of Veterans Affairs Could Become an Outpost for Abortion

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

American taxpayers be warned: in direct violation of federal law, the Biden administration is using your hard-earned tax dollars to transform Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals into outposts for abortion. Under an 
interim final rule published last year by VA Secretary Denis McDonough, the agency can illegally fund abortion on demand for hundreds of thousands of its employees, as well as their family members – even in states with legal protections for the unborn and their mothers.  

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Biden’s illegal VA abortion rule is wildly out of step with the public. Seven in 10 Americans – including nearly half of rank-and-file Democrats – want much stronger protections for unborn children, according to 
polling by Marist. Sixty percent oppose using tax dollars to fund abortion domestically, and 78 percent oppose using tax dollars to fund abortion abroad.

Congress just had an opportunity to act on the will of the people and take a stand for life by reversing this dangerous rule. A bicameral joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Actwhich would nullify the VA’s egregious abortion policy, was up for a vote in the U.S. Senate. This resolution, sponsored by Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), should easily have earned the vote of every senator. Shamefully, it failed to get 60 votes. Of all the Democrats in the chamber, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia was the only one to stand up to Biden.

It is obvious that the administration was looking for a way to use taxpayer dollars to expand abortion on demand, ever since Secretary McDonough described VA-provided abortions as a “regulatory matter.” As Republican leaders 
reminded him, this isn’t just a policy matter, it’s the law.

The administration’s rule illegally forces taxpayers to foot the bill for abortions at VA hospitals, by creating a broad, undefined “health” exception that Congress never granted and would fund abortions on demand for virtually any reason. For almost 50 years prior to the Dobbs decision, the U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion rulings defined “health” to mean “all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age—relevant to the wellbeing of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.” 

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If healthcare workers in any way deem an abortion to fall under this expansive health exception, an abortion can be justified at any point during pregnancy, with no protections whatsoever for unborn children or women, even right up until birth.  

Abortion is not health care, it’s the destruction of an innocent human life. That’s not just a fact backed by science, it’s plain common sense. Furthermore, abortion can pose serious physical and mental health risks to women and girls, who frequently report facing pressure to abort from partners or family members, among other sources. It’s also no secret that women who undergo surgical abortions face as high as a 35 percent increased risk of preterm birth in future pregnancies after one surgical abortion, which can grow to as much as 72 percent after two or more abortions. Preterm birth, in turn, is associated with higher maternal mortality.  

Our veterans deserve better. An institution established to help them heal has no place providing destructive elective abortions to its employees and their families. In fact, the VA is prohibited from covering abortions under the 
Veterans Health Care Act of 1992. Not only did it pass by unanimous consent, Joe Biden himself supported it. Today’s Democratic Party is unrecognizable.

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The Biden administration is well aware what they’re doing is illegal. During McDonough’s testimony last year, Republican members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs reminded the administration that in addition to regulations, federal law prohibits the VA from offering abortion or counseling for abortion. Yet when asked during a 2022 Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing whether the VA will provide abortions up to the moment of birth, McDonough refused to respond.

This is just the latest example of the pro-abortion extremism being aggressively saddled upon the American people by the Biden administration, despite pro-life and pro-woman protections enacted democratically in over a dozen states.   

The Biden administration’s illegal VA abortion rule violates federal law, it will cause the death of innocent children, and it’s offensive and wrong to the majority of Americans. Every vote against this resolution was a pro-abortion vote. There’s still a way Congress could establish permanent, government-wide safeguards against this egregious abuse of taxpayer dollars: passing H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. I urge voters nationwide to speak out and to hold their representatives accountable at the ballot box. The Biden administration’s lawlessness must be stopped before any more women and their children are harmed by abortion on demand.

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