50 Pro-Life Groups Sound Alarm on Taxpayer Funding for Abortions at VA Clinics

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Roughly 50 pro-life groups sent a letter to the U.S. House and Senate on Tuesday, warning that taxpayers could end up funding abortions by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) under a new rule put forth by the Biden administration.

The letter details how a portion of the $71 million increase in funding from appropriations bills (totaling $911 million) for the Office of Women’s Health at the VA will be used to “underwrite the transformation of veteran’s health facilities into abortion centers” under an interim final rule (IFR) which provides funding for abortion by the VA.

“Women veterans deserve quality life-affirming medical care. Instead, the VA has prioritized abortion extremism by investing in an illegal scheme to provide abortions at veterans’ health facilities in violation of both state and federal law,” the letter reads.

The groups note that since 1992, the VA has been “statutorily prohibited from using taxpayer dollars for abortion, thereby prioritizing scarce resources for the life-affirming health care needs of American veterans.” But in September of 2022, the Biden administration “ignored the longstanding statutory prohibition on taxpayer funding for abortion at the VA and issued a new rule that includes funding abortion for health reasons.”

The letter continues:

“The undefined reference to health is presumably as broad as defined under Doe v. Bolton (the companion case to Roe v. Wade) which included virtually any reason: ‘medical judgement may be exercised in the light of 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.’”

The IFR also “expressly authorizes VA health care professionals to perform abortions,” the letter reads, citing a part of the rule which states that VA employees cannot be held liable under state or local law for “reasonably performing their Federal duties.”

“This attempt to preempt state law is based on the legal principle that federal law can override state law. However, in this case there is no such federal law allowing for abortion, but rather a federal law prohibiting funding for abortion. An illegal interpretation of federal law cannot justify preemption of legitimate state law,” the letter reads.

The coalition of pro-life groups, including March for Life Action, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, and Live Action, wrote that the “blatant disregard for the law and the will of the people is just one in a series of efforts by the current administration to appease the demands of the radical abortion lobby.”

“The administration is flagrantly disregarding federal law in their rush to impose abortion on demand until birth at taxpayer expense throughout all fifty states. Now, Congress must consider whether to reward these actions with more hard-earned taxpayer dollars,” the letter concludes.

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