Saturday, February 11, 2023

Lankford joins effort to block VA from illegally providing abortion services

Lankford, Colleagues Push Effort to Block Illegal VA Abortion Rule

WASHINGTON, DC (Feb. 8th) – Senator James Lankford (R-OK), Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), and Representative Michael Cloud (R-TX), along with more than 65 colleagues, introduced a bicameral joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to nullify an illegal US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) rule that provides abortion services through the taxpayer-funded VA health care system. The CRA gives Congress the authority to review major rules issued by federal agencies. If Congress disapproves of a rule via resolution, the rule will have no force or effect under the law.

“Service members are heroes and deserve to get the care they need when they return from the frontlines. It’s appalling that instead of providing health care, the Biden administration is abusing VA facilities and breaking longstanding federal law to push its abortion-on-demand agenda,” said Lankford. “Abortion is not health care, and taxpayers should not be funding it, especially at our VA health centers.”

“Using our VA medical facilities to provide publicly-funded abortions is an unconstitutional abuse of the system, and it will not be tolerated,” said Tuberville. “No taxpayer should be forced to pay for abortion services that disregard the will of millions of Americans in states with legal protections for life, rightfully upheld by the Supreme Court last year. The interim final rule highlights this administration’s willingness to ignore the law and exploit limited federal resources to serve their extreme abortion agenda.”

“The Biden Administration continues to advance their radical abortion on demand agenda, this time through the Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Cloud. “Directing the Department of Veterans Affairs to perform abortions is a clear abuse of the law and it forces taxpayers to fund abortions, something the majority of Americans oppose. I will always be a voice for the unborn and oppose taxpayer funded abortions.”

The VA published the interim final rule in September 2022, just a few months after the Supreme Court issued its decision to reverse Roe v. Wade and return the decision to legislate on abortion to the American people through their elected representatives. Not only does the rule set up VA medical facilities to blatantly violate state laws, it’s also in clear conflict with Section 106 of the Veterans Health Care Act of 1992, which explicitly prohibits the VA from providing abortion services. Notably, the rule also extends abortion services to certain veterans’ dependents and fails to provide any conscience protections for VA medical staff.

The resolution is endorsed by Susan B. Anthony Pro Life-America, March for Life, National Right to Life, CatholicVote, Heritage Action, and Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.

Cosponsors in the Senate include Senators Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Rick Scott (R-FL), John Thune (R-SD), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Deb Fischer (R-NE), John Hoeven (R-ND), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mike Braun (R-IN), Katie Britt (R-AL), J.D. Vance (R-OH), John Cornyn (R-TX), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Jerry Moran (R-KS).


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