When the shutdowns began last March, our health care facilities quickly became overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. Local hospitals and clinics canceled routine appointments and treatment visits to accommodate the unprecedented strain on the system. With much of the Volunteer State reopening, our local clinics are facing a new challenge—the Biden administration’s plan to divert critical health care funding in order to pay for abortions.
Considering his divisive confirmation, it is no surprise that Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Xavier Becerra is following through on his promise to expand abortion on demand. By reversing the Protect Life Rule, Becerra removed a key Trump administration distinction between family planning services like counseling, testing, and treatment for sexually transmissible infections (STIs), cervical cancer, or HIV, and abortions. Now, funding originally dedicated to local clinics to provide those essential services will be diverted to abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood.
While ensuring abortion on demand might be another positive development for the left, it goes against federal law. Since the 1980s, the Hyde Amendment has existed to ensure that taxpayer funding cannot subsidize the killing of unborn children. By reversing the Protect Life Rule, hundreds of millions of our taxpayer dollars will flow to mega abortion providers.
Not only is Becerra’s action a direct violation of federal law but it also goes against the will of the people. Nearly two-thirds—58 percent—of Americans oppose taxpayer-funded abortions. In the Volunteer State, nearly the same number of people oppose abortion in general. Yet again, the Biden administration’s radical agenda lacks the support of everyday Americans.
Biden and Becerra expected to implement their partisan agenda in secret, making impassioned calls for unity while instituting divisive laws with barely any discussion. While it may be easier to overlook small regulatory changes, Becerra’s recent action has life and death consequences. Every day in the United States, 1,700 lives are lost to abortion. These unborn children will never take their first steps or say their first words.
The fate of these 1,700 voiceless and vulnerable children is absolutely heartbreaking. When I was elected to the Senate, the very first bill I introduced sought to protect these innocent children. Today, I have that same resolve. In direct response to Becerra’s pro-abortion crusade, I led over 100 of my colleagues in a letter demanding an end to taxpayer-funded abortions.
Local communities don’t need abortion on demand; they need funding to back critical services that save lives. While health clinics Tennesseans rely on are returning to normal operation, Biden’s radical agenda is willing to prioritize funding Planned Parenthood instead of local-level care. The prospect of standing up for the voiceless is what prompted me to run for Senate, and while the Biden administration seeks to undermine the sanctity of life, I remain determined to defend our nation’s future.