Plans to allow abortions at the nation's Veterans Administration hospitals go against long-established federal law and must not be allowed to proceed, Sen. James Lankford insisted on Newsmax on Wednesday.
"The VA is not an abortion clinic," the Oklahoma Republican, who has sent a letter to VA Secretary Denis McDonough on the matter, told Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "That's the most basic principle here. For 30 years, this has been federal law that the VA cannot perform abortions."
But President Joe Biden is the "most pro-abortion president in American history" and is "obsessed with trying to have more abortions in America, for whatever reason, in his background," said Lankford.
The best way to respond, he continued, is for Congress to make it clear that the VA is "breaking the law" and then to challenge the decision.
He also said another way to stop abortions at VA hospitals would be for Congress to cut funding that would be spent on abortions.
"It's not about cutting overall funding for the VA," he stressed. "This is saying the VA does not have money to be able to perform abortions. That portion is separate so that federal law can actually be applied."
Last week, the department announced that its hospitals will provide abortion counseling and abortions in the event of rape, incest, or danger from pregnancy to a veteran's life, even if the hospitals are in states where strict bans or restrictions are in place, reports The Washington Post.
"VA serves roughly 300K women of childbearing age, and women veterans are VA's fastest growing cohort," VA spokesman Terrence Hayes said in a statement to The Post, adding that the VA is prepared after the rule was published to "immediately prepare to provide these services in as many locations as possible."
Lankford, in his letter to McDonough, points out that Section 106 of the Veterans Health Care Act of 1992 directs the VA to provide women with "general reproductive health care … not including … abortions."
Meanwhile, reports in The New York Times this week indicated that women are excited to vote based on the Supreme Court's ruling on Roe v. Wade earlier this year, but Lankford questioned the newspaper for implying that all those women are for abortion, not against it.
"First and foremost this is about protecting the lives of children," he said. "By far there are millions of American women that value the lives of every single child, and they speak out, and they're actually very engaged as well."
The Supreme Court, he added, pushed the decision on abortion back to the states and say the court should not decide this, that the American people should, and that's happening.
Lankford added that abortion is among the policies that concern him should the Democrats retain control of Congress this fall.
"We've seen the last two years and what happens in the country when Democrats have controlled the Senate, with the inflation, the big spending, and the tax increases," said Lankford. "That's their playbook. So yes, I'm concerned, not just politically. I'm concerned about the future of the country. That's why I encourage people to step up and vote."
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