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Secretary Becerra Reaffirms Commitment to Protecting Safe and Legal Abortion

Below is an excerpt from the opening remarks of the testimony by Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra reaffirming his commitment to protect [reproductive health], during the FY 2023 President’s Budget Hearing at the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee on May 4, 2022:

Chairwoman Murray, Ranking Member Blunt, and members of the committee, I look forward to discussing with you the president's FY 2023 budget.

But it is most important that I begin today by responding to the chilling news that certain justices on the Supreme Court appear to be plotting to dismantle settled legal authority that recognizes and protects every woman’s right to make her own decisions about her health and her body, including abortion.

22 years into the 21st century and nearly 50 years after Roe v. Wade, some, mostly men, seek to impose their judgment over every woman in America who may seek to exercise her constitutional right to privacy in personal decision making. That is dangerous, that is wrong, and that we must repel with every just bone in our body.

America is not a nation prone to regression, and the Department of Health and Human Services is not in the business of stripping Americans of access and protections to care. So, at HHS, we will double down on our authorities to protect every American's right and access to reproductive health care, including abortion.

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