February 19, 2021 Press Release


February 19, 2021


Equity Forward on Becerra’s Record: HHS Needs Strong Leader on Who Will Protect Health Care for Everyone in the United States

Equity Forward’s full research on Becerra is HERE (pdf)


2.19.21 – In anticipation of the Senate holding confirmation hearings next week for Xavier Becerra, President Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Molly Bangs, director of accountability organization Equity Forward released the following statement:

"As our country battles a pandemic and begins the long road of undoing the harm of the previous administration, we cannot wait any longer for an experienced and empathetic leader for our nation’s health department. Xavier Becerra’s record stands in stark opposition to that of former-Secretary Azar, who enabled child separation, weaponized religious refusal laws against LGBQ and trans people, defended denials of access to abortion care for migrants, and decimated our nation’s birth control program. We hope and have every reason to believe that, as HHS Secretary, Becerra will not just rely on science and evidence drive his decisions but also compassion. His documented history of supporting access to reproductive health care, defending just treatment for immigrants, and ensuring gender protections is what we need to push forward equitable health care decisions at our nation’s health department.”

In addition to putting forth a comprehensive series of policy recommendations — developed both internally and in numerous diverse coalitions — Equity Forward maintains HHS Watch, an accountability campaign that examines the decision-makers at our nation’s health department and their sexual and reproductive health policies. Equity Forward will be monitoring and researching Biden’s appointments for similar issues and its full research on Becerra is HERE (pdf) with excerpts below:

  • Becerra helped lead a multistate amicus brief supporting lawsuits against the Trump administration’s Title X final rule. [State of California Department of Justice, 5/1/20]

  • Becerra spoke out against the domestic gag rule, citing the additional strain on people’s health and finances during coronavirus made the Title X program more critical than ever. [State of California Department of Justice, 5/1/20]

  • Becerra denounced the Trump administration’s hypocrisy over opposition to research that relies fetal tissue and urged former HHS Secretary Alex Azar and NIH Director Francis Collins to reject the Trump administration’s faulty recommendations to withhold funding for critical research using fetal tissue, including research to combat COVID-19. [State of California, Office of the Attorney General Letter, Page 1, 10/28/20]

  • As President-elect Donald Trump proposed mass deportations and the construction of a border wall before taking office, Becerra vowed to fight to protect California policies that help undocumented immigrants obtain driver’s licenses, college financial aid, and legal assistance in fighting deportation orders.  [LA Times, 1/18/17]

  • Becerra applauded a federal judge’s order to Restore DACA and vowed to defend DACA and as California Attorney General. [Xavier Becerra, Twitter, 12/4/20]

  • Becerra recognized the harm of the Trump Administration’s public charge rule, designed to dissuade immigrants from accessing health care and meeting other basic needs, calling it inhumane and immoral. [Xavier Becerra, Twitter, 12/2/20]




Equity Forward is a watchdog project that seeks to ensure transparency and accountability among anti-reproductive health groups and individuals who are actively working to deny people access to services such as birth control and abortion.