Becerra did not commit to that, but simply made a promise to "definitely follow the law when it comes to the use of federal resources," and noted that "we probably will not agree on all the issues."
Although the Hyde Amendment has traditionally banned the use of federal dollars for elective abortions, President Biden has supported the repeal of the policy, and the White House has not guaranteed that an upcoming COVID relief bill would not include abortion funding.
Other Democratic congressional leaders have also said they intend to not include the policy in appropriations bills this year; the Hyde Amendment is enacted each year as a rider to budget bills, specifying that the appropriations cannot be used for elective abortions.
Pro-life groups criticized Becerra for his answers on abortion.
His answer on partial-birth abortion should "disqualify" him from the position, tweeted Democrats for Life of America. "He is far too radical to run this department. There are better choices," the group stated.
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The pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List tweeted "Mr. Becerra, you're applying for the top health job in the nation. You don't get to make up imaginary terms like 'future baby'."
Other pro-life groups have criticized Becerra's record on abortion, noting that as California attorney general, he prosecuted pro-life activist David Daleiden and enforced a state universal abortion coverage mandate; the mandate affected even Catholic religious, forcing them to provide abortion coverage for employees. Becerra also defended a state law that required crisis pregnancy centers to advertise for abortions.
The HHS Office for Civil Rights twice found Becerra and California in violation of federal conscience laws; when the office gave Becerra 30 days to comply with conscience laws back in Jan., 2020, Becerra refused. The agency eventually said it would withhold $200 million in Medicaid funds to California, as a result of the state's violation of federal law.