Chris Lange, FISM News
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra did not directly respond to questions about the deaths of five preborn babies whose bodies were discovered in Washington D.C. last month. Becerra had been speaking before the House Committee on Education and Labor on April 6 concerning his department’s 2023 budget when Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) took the opportunity to press him for a response to Live Action News’ coverage detailing the discovery of five murdered babies deemed to be “viable human beings” at the time of their deaths.
The babies’ corpses were discovered on March 31 at the home of Lauren Handy, an activist from the left-wing pro-life group Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU). Experts say the preborn infants appear to have been killed using banned late-term abortion practices widely considered to be inhumane.
Cawthorn asked Becerra if he was aware of the report and the possible use of the federally-banned D&X (dilation and extraction) ‘partial-birth’ abortion procedure. Rather than respond directly, Becerra chose to split hairs over semantics, according to Cawthorn.
“He ignored the question and said ‘partial birth abortions’ is a ‘politician-created term’ not used by ‘physicians,’” Cawthorne tweeted, including a link to Becerra’s videotaped testimony before the committee.
“Mr. Secretary, it was not one, it was not two, it was five human viable babies that were left dead in D.C. a few weeks ago,” Cawthorn said. “Quoting the [Live Action] article, a neonatal specialist called these babies ‘premature people.’”
The babies in question were estimated by physician experts to be in the late second or early third trimesters of pregnancy, according to the report. The doctors said it was apparent that some died as a result of D&X abortions. Dr. Kendra Kolb, a neonatologist, told Live Action News that one of the infants, a girl, was determined to have reached “28-30 weeks gestational age, with evidence of deep lacerations to the posterior neck which presumably correlates to the method of abortion used to end her life.”
Cawthorn accused Sec. Becerra of ambivalence concerning the troubling report.
“Congressman, I’m not ambivalent,” Becerra replied.
“Yes, sir. This lack of clarity is immoral and a monument to the erasure of truth in our time,” Cawthorn said.
“The callousness with which this administration views life and the sanctity of it is astonishing. A nation that cannot protect the most precious, innocent, and vulnerable among us has a moral compass that is not only stained, sir, but it’s dead,” the congressman continued
According to Fox News, Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) also asked Secretary Becerra about D&X ‘partial-birth’ abortion.
“Do you concede that partial-birth abortion is illegal per the law?” Banks asked.
“Under the Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade, women have reproductive rights that they are entitled to enforce and that they are entitled to have the government’s respect,” Becerra replied, adding, “I will do everything I can to make sure a woman’s rights and reproductive care are defended.”
“So I take that as no, you don’t concede that that is the law?” Banks pressed.
“I gave you the answer,” said Becerra, who last month visited Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in New Hampshire after awarding the organization a $500,000 grant, seemingly in response to a decision by New Hampshire’s Executive Council to strip abortion providers of public funding.
News of the discovery of the bodies prompted several Republican lawmakers to demand action by local and federal agencies.
Several GOP members of Congress on April 5 sent a letter to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the city’s chief of police calling for autopsies to be conducted on the corpses. This was followed by an April 9 letter from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to the same individuals requesting that the bodies be preserved as evidence for future congressional oversight.
I’ve sent a letter to Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee III demanding the remains of the five preborn children discovered by police be preserved for future oversight.
Read my letter below. pic.twitter.com/e082yg8G6U
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) April 9, 2022
On April 11, nearly 70 GOP lawmakers called for the Justice Department to open an investigation into the deaths in a letter sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“[J]ustice demands that at the very least, an investigation be conducted to ensure that anyone conducting these illegal, abhorrent acts against the most innocent among us may be prosecuted,” the legislators said. Garland was given a deadline of April 11 to respond, though no response has been forthcoming as of April 14.
So far, the city’s medical examiner has declined an autopsy, despite multiple medical experts indicating potential violations of federal law.
The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 describes D&X abortion as “an abortion in which a physician deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living, unborn child’s body until either the entire baby’s head is outside the body of the mother, or any part of the baby’s trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother and only the head remains inside the womb, to perform an overt act (usually the puncturing of the back of the child’s skull and removing the baby’s brains) that the person knows will kill the partially delivered infant.”
While most babies are delivered at between 39 and 40 weeks of pregnancy, numerous children have survived, and thrived, following premature births. A February 8, 2022 report published by Stanford Medicine stated that infants born as early as 22 weeks can survive outside of the womb. The youngest known surviving preemie, Amillia Taylor, was born at 21 weeks and six days according to Reuters. She was roughly the length of a ballpoint pen at the time of her birth.