Politics

‘Authoritarian’: Republicans React To Biden Admin’s VA Office Offering Abortion Services

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Sarah Weaver Staff Writer
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Multiple Republican lawmakers on Tuesday told the Daily Caller the Biden administration’s Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offering abortion counseling and services was an overstep of federal power by the White House.

The VA submitted an interim final rule Sept. 1 which would clear the path for VA hospitals to provide abortion counseling and, in some instances, abortions to beneficiaries of the department.

“Access to medically necessary abortions is essential for preserving the life and health of Veterans and VA beneficiaries,” the VA wrote in a statement about the interim rule released Sept. 2. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans Demand Veterans Affairs Sec. Denis McDonough Rescind Rule Providing Abortion Services)

The rule would be a possible violation of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal funds to provide abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is in danger.

Republican Texas Rep. Chip Roy, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, told the Caller that the move violated laws passed by Congress.

“The Biden Administration’s brazen disregard for the rule of law knows no bounds,” Roy told the Caller. “Federal law, passed by elected representatives, prohibits the VA from providing abortions in clear, unambiguous language.”

“The administration doesn’t care — and is carrying out one of the most authoritarian, autocratic agendas in history. It requires a proportional response,” Roy continued.

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 03: U.S. President Joe Biden, appearing via teleconference, delivers remarks at a meeting of the Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access during an event at the White House complex August 3, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 03: U.S. President Joe Biden, appearing via teleconference, delivers remarks at a meeting of the Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access during an event at the White House complex August 3, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Republican Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde told the Caller that, as a veteran, the interim rule was especially repugnant to him.

“It is unconscionable that Secretary McDonough is steamrolling ahead with the illegal rule allowing the VA to provide abortion services,” Clyde said. “As a veteran, I’m appalled that the VA is advancing the Left’s murderous crusade against the unborn instead of solely focusing on providing timely, high-quality care to our nation’s veterans. Congress must immediately act to block this vile overreach in order to prevent taxpayer-funded abortions and protect the sanctity of life.” (RELATED: ‘Can Feel Excruciating Pain’: Sen. Lindsey Graham Defends 15-Week Abortion Limit)

Republican Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, who serves on both the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the House Committee on Armed Services, suggested to the Caller the interim rule was a violation of the Hyde Amendment.

“This is an unprecedented overstep by the Biden administration, which can’t be trusted to respect Congress’s near total ban on taxpayer funded abortions,” Banks said. “VA Republicans will use our oversight power to ensure that the Biden VA adheres to the Hyde Amendment.”

Republican Illinois Congressman Mike Bost, the ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and a member of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, said the rule violated the wishes of Americans.

“The Biden administration is acting in a shockingly aggressive way to violate the will of Americans who don’t want their tax dollars used to pay for abortions at VA. Congress prohibited VA from doing just that over 30 years ago, and nothing since then has changed in law,” Bost said.

“I am proudly pro-life and will fight to ensure VA protects the sanctity of life,” he added.

Henry Rodgers and Michael Ginsberg contributed to this report.