President Joe Biden's nominee to be the second-in-command of the federal government's foreign aid agency has been blocked because of his support for partial-birth abortions.
Atul Gawande, Biden's pick for deputy administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has supported partial-birth abortions for years. If confirmed, he would be charged with the oversight of all foreign aid distribution, including abortion funding, which Biden has made a priority goal of the agency, according to LifeSite News.
Pro-life advocates and conservative lawmakers have condemned the would-be deputy administrator's extreme views on abortion and have warned about confirming him for the position.
They point to a 1998 op-ed he wrote for Slate Magazine during the debate over partial-birth abortion. At that time, then-President Bill Clinton vetoed the resulting legislation. Congress later passed another bill banning the radical procedure in 2003 and it was signed into law by President George W. Bush. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld it in 2007.
"Grossness is not a good objection," he wrote in the 1998 Slate op-ed in which he described partial-birth abortion in complete detail. "Lots of operations are gross–leg amputations, burn surgery, removal of facial tumors, etc. But that does not make them wrong."
Because of Gawande's abortion views, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) placed a "hold" his nomination vote in the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Gawande's nomination cannot proceed without at least 60 votes, according to Senate rules.
"Atul Gawande's defense of infanticide is disqualifying," Rubio said in a statement on Oct. 19. "Infanticide should be condemned, not celebrated, but Gawande's radical, anti-life views are becoming mainstream in today's Democratic Party. President Biden should withdraw Gawande's nomination and replace him with someone who is committed to upholding the agency's mission of saving lives."
"I never thought I would see the day America had government officials who openly support legal infanticide," Rubio wrote in 2019. "Democrats are now the party of abortion on demand and at any point in a pregnancy."
LifeSite News reports the USAID has a history of supporting sterilization, abortion, and eugenics.
"Documents reveal that USAID has for more than two decades been at the helm of India's family planning programs, not just funding them, but overseeing and orchestrating the entire program," the news outlet reported in 2015.
In 2010, the agency also undertook a marketing effort to convince Filipino women to take contraceptives to suppress their fertility, according to LifeSite News.
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