Rep. Rosendale and 137 Republicans Stand Up For Veterans and the Sanctity of Life
Washington, June 16, 2021
Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Rosendale sent a letter, co-led by Ranking Member Bost, Representatives Chris Smith and Mariannette Miller-Meeks, and signed by 134 other representatives, to the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Denis McDonough. This letter urges Secretary McDonough to maintain the current laws which prohibit the VA from offering abortions or providing abortion counsel.
“The VA must never use taxpayer dollars to provide abortions or abortion counseling to veterans. To do so would be contrary to the God-given right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that generations of veterans fought to defend,” the letter stated.
The letter describes the statute prohibiting the VA from offering abortion or abortion counseling to veteran patients.
“The VA should prioritize veterans’ mental health and should assist them with injuries sustained during combat. The right to life is sacred and the VA should be focused on protecting that life, not trying to use taxpayer funds to take it away.” Representative Rosendale (MT-AL) said.
“Our veterans deserve all our thanks for their service and sacrifice to our nation. These American heroes have selflessly put themselves in harm's way to defend us and our freedom. While we can never fully repay our veterans for their sacrifices, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was created to serve our veterans the way they answered the call to serve our country. It would be a disservice to our veterans — who fought to protect innocent Americans — to have the VA use taxpayer money to kill unborn babies by providing abortions or abortion counseling. This goes against our veterans' defense of the right to life and protecting the voiceless." - Representative Steve Scalise, Republican Whip (LA-01)
“I will always stand with my fellow veterans and for the lives of the unborn,” said Ranking Member Bost (IL-12). “I was proud to join so many of my colleagues in sending this letter to Secretary McDonough reaffirming our commitment to protecting the sanctity of life at VA. Under no circumstance should the Biden Administration consider ending the ban against abortions in VA medical facilities.”
“Protecting life and the unborn is one of my top priorities in Congress. Taxpayer dollars should never be used to pay for abortions, including at our veteran healthcare facilities,” said Representative Miller-Meeks (IA-02). “While I appreciate Secretary McDonough’s assurances to Members of Congress that his Department will not pursue rulemaking to add abortion or abortion counseling to their benefits packages, the Secretary should know that the law is already clear on this matter, that the VA cannot pay for abortions. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on this incredibly important issue.”
“Abortion is not health care, it’s a brutal procedure that harms women and ends the lives of unborn children through suction, dismemberment or chemical poisoning,” said Representative Chris Smith (NJ-04), author of 14 veterans laws, including the landmark Homeless Veterans Comprehensive Assistance Act (PL 107-95). “Current law clearly prevents the Department of Veterans Affairs from paying for abortion, and we expect the Administration to focus instead on providing the true quality health care that veterans have earned and deserve.”
In addition to strong congressional support, this letter received praise from a number of pro-life groups including Susan B. Anthony List, March for Life, Family Research Council, and Concerned Women for America LAC.
“We thank Reps. Matt Rosendale, Mike Bost, Chris Smith, and Mariannette Miller-Meeks for leading this important effort to ensure existing laws that stop forced taxpayer funding of abortion on demand are enforced. It is shameful that the pro-abortion Biden-Harris administration needs such a reminder – these longstanding protections are not a suggestion, they are law and reflect the will of the American people. Our veterans have fought bravely to defend American lives and values…using VA taxpayer dollars to promote abortion would be a great disservice to these men and women and to our nation.”- The Honorable Marilyn Musgrave, Vice President of Government Affairs, Susan B. Anthony List
“March for Life Action applauds the letter led by Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT), along with Veterans Affairs Committee Ranking Member Mike Bost (R-IL), Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), and Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), for reminding Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis R. McDonough that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is prohibited by law (P.L. 102-585) from paying for abortions. The men and women who have honorably defended this country dedicated their lives to defending life. The VA even suggesting that taxpayer dollars provide abortions or abortion counseling to veterans is an insult to their sacrifice.” - Tom McClusky, President, March for Life Action
“Because abortion is not health care and is the taking of an innocent, unborn child’s life, federal law and regulations prohibit the Department of Veterans Affairs from providing abortions or abortion counseling to veterans. To do otherwise would violate the conscience rights of millions of Americans and would be an offense against the men and women who have so bravely fought to preserve our nation’s freedoms. Family Research Council is grateful to Congressman Rosendale, Congressman Bost, and Congressman Smith for their vigilance and efforts to defend unborn babies and protect tax-payer’s dollars by reiterating the prohibitions on abortion and abortion counseling to the Denis McDonough, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.” - Mary Szoch, Director of the Center for Human Dignity, Family Research Council
“Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee applauds Congressman Rosendale’s leadership in ensuring that the Department of Veterans Affairs—and every other federal agency—upholds statutory prohibitions against providing abortion. Any blatant disregard for the law and our rights of conscience concerning the dignity of human life cannot stand. We are grateful to members of Congress who are standing together in this critical mission.” - Doreen Denny, Vice President of Government Relations, Concerned Women for America LAC
In addition to Representative Rosendale, the letter was signed by Representatives Mike Bost (R-IL), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Steve Scalise (R-LA), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Mike Johnson (R-LA), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Bob Good (R-VA), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Glenn Grothman (R-WI), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Diana Harshbarger (R-TN), Randy Weber (R-TX), Barry Moore (R-AL), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Daniel Webster (R-FL), Ted Budd (R-NC), Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), Jody Hice (R-GA), Andy Harris, M.D. (R-MD), Jake LaTurner (R-KS), Pete Stauber (R-MN), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Jack Bergman (R-MI), Roger Williams (R-TX), Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA), Tracey Mann (R-KS), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Brian Babin, D.D.S (R-TX), Brad R. Wenstrup, D.P.M. (R-OH), Jim Banks (R-IN), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN), Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Ann Wagner (R-MO), Mike D. Rogers (R-AL), Brian Mast (R-FL), W. Gregory Steube (R-FL), Michael Waltz (R-FL), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Yvette Herrell (R-NM), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Trent Kelly (R-MS), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), John Joyce (R-PA), Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), Gregory F. Murphy, M.D. (R-NC), Bryan Steil (R-WI), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), Mary Miller (R-IL), Rick W. Allen (R-GA), Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Dan Bishop (R-NC), Scott Franklin (R-FL), Robert J. Wittman (R-VA), Rep. Troy E. Nehls (R-TX), Carol Miller (R-WV), Lisa McClain (R-MI), Bill Posey (R-FL), Tim Walberg (R-MI), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Alex X. Mooney (R-WV), Russ Fulcher (R-ID), Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Richard Hudson (R-NC), Chip Roy (R-TX), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Chris Jacobs (R-NY), Billy Long (R-MO), Pete Sessions (R-TX), John H. Rutherford (R-FL), Liz Cheney (R-WY), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Kat Cammack (R-FL), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Eric A. “Rick” Crawford (R-AR), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Steven M. Palazzo (R-MS), Garret Graves (R-LA), David B. McKinley P.E. (R-WV), Greg Pence (R-IN), Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Gary Palmer (R-AL), Gus M. Bilirakis (R-FL), Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), Ashley Hinson (R-IA), Julia Letlow (R-LA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Beth Van Duyne (R-TX), Ronny L. Jackson (R-TX), Neal Dunn, M.D. (R-FL), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Fred Keller (R-PA), Mark E. Green, M.D. (R-TN), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Joe Wilson (R-SC), John Rose (R-TN), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Lance Gooden (R-TX), Michael Guest (R-MS), Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), Tony Gonzales (R-TX), Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI), James R. Baird (R-IN), Troy Balderson (R-OH), Sam Graves (R-MO), H. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Jerry L. Carl (R-AL), Tim Burchett (R-TN), Paul A. Gosar (R-AZ), French Hill (R-AR), Michael Cloud (R-TX), Adrian Smith (R-NE), Pat Fallon (R-TX), Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Andrew S. Clyde (R-GA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Andy Barr (R-KY), and David Schweikert (R-AZ).