Upon his appointment, in March 2021, to the post of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), various Catholic media expressed alarm at the arrival of Xavier Becerra in a highly sensitive post affecting questions relating to the right to life.
It must be said that the former attorney general of California had filed, between 2017 and 2020, around 30 lawsuits against the Trump administration, accusing them of wanting to bury the pro-abortion reforms of his predecessor, Barack Obama.
On November 24, the National Catholic Register warned that “Becerra’s HHS has declared open war on individuals and groups who, on the basis of their religious convictions, oppose the agenda of the abortion and ‘LGBT’ lobbies.”
According to an internal HHS report brought to light by the Catholic Benefits Association, “HHS is currently in discussion with extremist groups such as Planned Parenthood, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, working with them to craft an ‘expansive definition’ of discrimination on the basis of sex.”
According to the HHS’ current way of thinking, all health-care entities, public as well as private, confessional or not, must participate, under pain of prosecution, “in the provision of abortions, sterilizations, contraception, gender-transition services and fertility treatments for infertile couples, including for those they call ‘socially infertile,’ such as same-sex couples and some single persons.”
And since the Church is being especially targeted by the HHS, the plan is to overturn existing religious exemptions granted by the courts to Catholic hospitals and clinics.
Doug Wilson, Executive Director of the Catholic Benefits Association, an organization present in 71 dioceses across the United States, warns that is radical plan: it “removes all religious considerations from issues around life, family, marriage, the very nature of men and women.”
Confirmation of the arrival of this culture of death offensive was reported a few days earlier on Fox News: On November 17, 2021, the conservative news channel reported that it was “in possession of a draft HHS memo that further confirms the federal agency’s desire to overturn religious-liberty protections.”
The next day, November 18, HHS announced it was “rescinding religious-freedom waivers granted to the states of Michigan, South Carolina, and Texas:
“HHS will not condone the blanket use of religious exemptions against any persons, importantly including LGBT+ persons, in taxpayer-funded programs.”
The Democratic administration, chaired by the second Catholic president in US history, is exerting additional pressure to bring to heel Catholic health care facilities that refuse to abide by the progressive agenda.