November 22, 2022

State AGs Tell Biden Admin That Illegal VA Abortions will be Prosecuted

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch
On November 17, Attorneys General from fifteen states wrote a letter to Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough to challenge a new rule requiring VA facilities to provide taxpayer-funded abortions and abortion counseling to veterans and eligible dependents. The Attorneys General, led by Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, warns the Biden administration that VA abortions committed in violation of state laws will be prosecuted.

“We will not allow you to use this rule to erect a regime of elective abortions that defy state laws,” they wrote. “We stand ready to move decisively against departures from the rule’s terms or its promises. And we will enforce our duly enacted state laws and hold you accountable for violations of federal law. Those who perform abortions based on the interim final rule — and in defiance of state or federal laws — do so at their own risk.”

On July 8, the same day that the US Supreme Court issued its Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling, Biden directed executive agencies to find ways to enable abortion and bypass state laws. The VA announced its new rule on September 9.

The VA appears to be undeterred by the challenge. In response, VA spokesperson Terrence Hayes told "As VA Secretary Denis McDonough has said, 'Pregnant veterans and VA beneficiaries deserve to have access to world-class reproductive care when they need it most. That's what our nation owes them, and that's what we at VA will deliver.'"

The fifteen state attorneys general who signed the letter to the VA include those from Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.