October 23, 2023

Ranking Member Takano, Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Brownley’s Statement Responding to Republicans’ Absurd Fourth Letter to VA on Abortion Policy

Press Contact

Libby Carlson

WASHINGTON, DC – House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Ranking Member Mark Takano (CA-39) and Subcommittee on Health Ranking Member Julia Brownley (CA-26) released the following statement in response to the Committee Republicans’ absurd fourth letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) requesting veterans’ health information on abortion care: 

“Committee Republicans’ most recent letter to VA about the Interim Final Rule on reproductive healthcare and the Department’s abortion policy is harmful and an affront to all veterans.  

We already know Republicans want to take away healthcare choices from veterans, and so they have begun an insidious campaign under the guise of congressional oversight. Why are Committee Republicans so obsessed with invading the privacy of women veterans? Reproductive healthcare decisions should be made between veteran patients and their healthcare providers, and it is wrong for Members of Congress to insert themselves in that decision-making process. Veterans who receive abortion care at VA only have access under limited circumstances: to protect the life or health of the veteran, or when the pregnancy is the result of a sexual assault. Congress does not, and should not, be involved in this decision. 

Committee Democrats will fight EVERY attempt to weaponize or expose women veterans’ health information and every attempt to make it more difficult for them to access healthcare. We also will not stand by when Republicans misuse oversight powers to intimidate VA healthcare providers.  

We recognize that Congress has a legitimate oversight responsibility. But this is not legitimate oversight. The Republican effort here has greatly veered off course and threatens the privacy of veterans’ personal health information. They want to try to shame women veterans and embarrass them. There is no place for that, and we will fight every attempt to use congressional resources for this improper overreach. 

Veterans have the right to have an abortion and the right to have their personal health information kept private. Period.”