Becerra Dodges Abortion Limits Question by Talking About His Mother Praying the Rosary

By Mary Margaret Olohan Published on February 25, 2021

President Joe Biden’s HHS nominee Xavier Becerra dodged questions Wednesday on abortion limits by talking about his mother praying the rosary.

Republican Montana Sen. Steve Daines pressed the HHS nominee Wednesday afternoon on what restrictions, if any, Becerra thinks should be placed on abortion.

“Could you name one abortion restriction that you might support?” the senator asked.

Becerra did not name any restrictions on abortion, noting as he has done often throughout the past two days of hearings that he would follow the law.

“I have tried to make sure that I am abiding by the law because whether it’s a particular restriction or whether it’s the whole idea of abortion, whether we agree or not, we have to come to some conclusion,” Becerra responded.

Daines interrupted him to press his question again, saying, “But is there, to be clear, is there any line you would draw? Is there just one restriction, as it relates to abortion, that you might support?”

Becerra did not address the question but instead elaborated on his wife’s job as an OBGYN before discussing how his mother probably prayed the rosary for him the night before.

“From the stories I’ve heard from my wife, I know how hard many women struggle just to save the life of their baby,” Becerra said. “I know that right now, as I speak, my mother has blessed me this morning, as I got ready to come here and last night I know when she prayed the rosary as she does every day, every evening with my aunt, that she said a prayer and included me in that prayer.”


Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse also tore into the HHS nominee over his longstanding legal battles with the Little Sisters of the Poor during Wednesday’s confirmation hearing, reminding Becerra that he said earlier Wednesday that he never sued the nuns.

“You say you didn’t sue the nuns,” Sasse said. “You sued the federal government that was keeping you from making sure that the nuns had to buy contraceptive insurance. Were the nuns going to get pregnant?”

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Becerra said that he was defending the actions of California and “the laws that were in place.”

“When the federal government took action that we thought was unlawful, we took action to protect the people of California,” he said.

“So again, a whole bunch of words,” Sasse responded. “But you know well, you’re an incredibly smart man, you know well that what the federal government did was make sure that you couldn’t target the nuns. So, you sued the federal government because the federal government said the nuns didn’t have to buy contraceptive insurance.”


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