Trump Administration Moves to Stop California from Forcing Abortion Coverage into Every Health Care Plan
NEWS PROVIDED BY
Life Legal Defense Foundation
Jan. 24, 2020
WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2020 /Christian Newswire/ -- Today, the Trump Administration took action against a 2014 California policy forcing all insurance providers to include elective abortion in all health insurance policies sold in the state. According to a letter from the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS OCS) to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, California has 30 days to notify the Office whether it intends to continue enforcing its abortion coverage mandate, "or will instead agree to take corrective actions to come into compliance with the law." Failure to comply jeopardizes billions of dollars in federal funds that flow to California each year.
A little over five years ago, Life Legal Defense Foundation filed two complaints with the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS OCS). The complaints, filed on behalf of a number of California churches and residents, protested the decision by the Director of California's Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) to mandate that all health insurance policies sold in California had to provide coverage for elective abortions.
As today's letter from the HHS-OCR explains, the DMHC decision was the direct result of lobbying by abortion advocates, who had been outraged to learn that some religious employers had been able to secure, with DMHC approval, health coverage for their employees that did not include elective abortion. As the letter explains, "Abortion providers and advocacy groups, including Planned Parenthood. . . . pressured DMHC to not only reverse its decision to allow the coverage changes, but also to make elective abortion coverage mandatory for all health care plans falling under DMHC's jurisdiction."
DMHC responded to the "pressure campaign" by sending letters to the seven California health service plan insurers, ordering them to include coverage for abortion "without exclusion or limitation" in every plan they offered. This move "forced over 28,000 people out of plans that up until that time had chosen not to cover elective abortions."
As explained in Life Legal's complaints to the HHS-OCR, California's actions violate the Weldon Amendment, which prohibits various sources of federal money from going to any state or local government that discriminates against any health care entity "on the basis that the health care entity does not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions."
Under the Obama administration, those complaints languished for over a year and half, before we finally received a response, claiming that no violation was found.
However, under President Trump, the issue was re-examined, and today the Office of Civil Rights notified California of its determination that California's abortion mandate is in violation of the Weldon Amendment, and that the state must correct its policy if it is to continue to receive funds under several federal appropriations bills
"Abortion advocates will claim that Trump is jeopardizing the well-being of California residents by threatening to withhold these federal funds," said Life Legal's Vice President for Legal Affairs Catherine Short, who filed the complaints in 2014. "In fact, it is pro-abortion extremists in the state government who have decided that their highest priority is to force every man, woman, and child, every employer and employee, every church and school in California to be complicit in taking the lives of the most innocent and vulnerable among us."
About Life Legal Defense Foundation
Life Legal Defense Foundation was established in 1989, and is a nonprofit organization composed of attorneys and other concerned citizens committed to giving helpless and innocent human beings of any age, and their advocates, a trained and committed voice in the courtrooms of our nation. For more information about the Life Legal Defense Foundation, visit www.lldf.org.
CONTACT: Alexandra Snyder, 202-717-7371, email@example.com