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Bost, Miller-Meeks Press VA on Inadequate Department Response Regarding Illegal Abortions at VA

Today, Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.), the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Health, released the following statements after they sent a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough following up on the VA’s decision to violate federal law and begin offering abortion services to veterans at VA:

“VA is in clear violation of settled law by currently offering abortion services nationwide. With each week that passes, the number of abortions performed at VA facilities grows and Congress is left in the dark,” said Chairman Bost. “As the House Committee having oversight jurisdiction over VA and the services that are delivered to veterans, we deserve more information than what has been provided. The VA has ignored our previous requests for far too long, and accountability to taxpayers, as well as veterans, is long overdue.”

“The VA’s decision to offer abortion services is in clear violation with federal law, but unfortunately this seems to be of no concern to the Department,” said Subcommittee on Health Chairwoman Dr. Miller-Meeks. “Americans deserve to know where their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent, and that transparency must include the VA. I trust the Department will respond to our inquiry so that we can clear up what I hope is a serious misunderstanding.”

Full text of the letter the Members sent can be found here and below:

The Honorable Denis R. McDonough
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420

Dear Secretary McDonough:

We write to express our grave concern over the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) response regarding VA’s authority for the interim final rule (IFR) entitled, “Reproductive Health Services, 87 Fed Reg 55287,” to provide abortion and abortion counseling to veterans and VA beneficiaries.
As you are aware, Section 106 of the “Veterans Health Care Act of 1992,” P.L. 102-585, , defines VA’s authority when providing care for female veterans. Specifically, this section states that the VA may provide “[g]eneral reproductive health care,” however it specifically identifies that abortions and abortion counselling are prohibited from VA care.

In your December 27, 2022 response to then-Ranking Members Bost, Granger, and Jason Smith, you argued that providing abortion-related services is a “patient safety decision” that when deemed necessary to, “protect the life or health of the pregnant veteran [who] would be endangered if the pregnancy were carried to term; or the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest,” 87 Fed Reg 55288. However, there has been no Congressional action repealing Section 106 we believe the Department’s action are an overreach of current authorities and violate Federal law. Further, there has consistently been Congressional action which prohibits the use of federal funds to perform abortions at other federal agencies.

As Committees of jurisdiction overseeing the VA, we are, through Article I of the U.S. Constitution, authorized to perform oversight duties on all matters. We have asked in various forums for detailed data regarding VA’s implementation of this IFR since it was made public, but to date have received limited responses. Therefore, we formally ask that you provide the following data by February 10, 2023, and quarterly starting March 31, 2023.

Please provide a list identifying each VISN and:

1. the total number of abortions each VISN has performed;
2. the total number of medical abortions and surgical abortions at each VISN;
3. the trimester of each surgical and medical abortion;
4. the documented exception that provided for each abortion preformed; and
5. in the case of a “health” determination, the documented condition that posed the treat.



Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Health

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