Washington, D.C. — Florida Congressman Daniel Webster, R-Clermont, and nearly 50 of his colleagues wrote VA Secretary Denis McDonough expressing opposition to the VA’s interim final rule which would provide abortion services.
“Make no mistake: your Department’s decision to expand and promote abortion services – “regardless of state restrictions” – is blatantly illegal. You must reverse course immediately, or we will be forced to take further action to hold your Department accountable for this overreach,” the letter states.
The full text of the letter is below and here.
Dear Secretary McDonough,
This letter expresses our very strong opposition to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA’s) interim final rule1 issued on September 1, 2022 to provide abortion services in a manner that violates the laws of the land.
A federal agency is permitted to publish an interim final rule such as this only when it has “good cause” to do before first publishing a proposed rule as is normally required. It is incredibly disturbing to us that this rule publication comes out in apparent response to the recent Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling. The Supreme Court rightfully overturned the misguided Roe v. Wade decision and returned the issue of abortion to the American people to decide through state legislatures. If this SCOTUS ruling is the basis for your alleged “good cause” for issuing the interim final rule, your Department is bypassing regular rulemaking processes as part of a blatant political response to a Supreme Court decision, which is wholly unacceptable and inappropriate.
Moreover, your Department is knowingly violating current law as the Hyde Amendment restricts abortions for active military members, and Section 106 of the Veterans Health Care Act of 1992 explicitly prohibits the VA from providing abortion services – both of which are still the law of the land.
Make no mistake: your Department’s decision to expand and promote abortion services – “regardless of state restrictions” – is blatantly illegal. You must reverse course immediately, or we will be forced to take further action to hold your Department accountable for this overreach.
Despite the false narrative surrounding the Dobbs decision, conservative Americans are actively working to protect both the unborn child and the expectant mother. This is evidenced by the fact that even the most restrictive abortion prohibitions in effect today include exceptions to save the life of the mother. These exceptions include cases of ectopic pregnancies and other life-threatening complications arising from pregnancy. In addition, there are thousands of crisis pregnancy centers across the United States who provide support, counseling, and life-affirming medical services to women in need.
Furthermore, your misguided decision is using taxpayer dollars to conduct this heinous action, which is a direct attack on the consciences of countless Americans and goes against decades of precedent prohibiting taxpayer funded abortions.
The VA’s interim final rule is obviously another attempt by the Biden Administration to circumvent the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs and disregard the wishes of the majority of American voters. We demand that you rescind this rule immediately, and we request that you provide your Department’s response by September 15, 2022.
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