Trump Administration Threatens To Pull California Funding If State Doesn't Drop Abortion Mandate

Trump Administration Threatens To Pull California Funding If State Doesn’t Drop Abortion Mandate


President Trump said he’d be the most pro-life President we’ve ever had.

Many scoffed.

Many doubted.

But is there a doubt any longer?

I don’t think so.

He has pulled out every stop possible in order to stop the abortion industry, and he just put California on notice of another massive blow.

Take a look:

From NBC News:

The Trump administration on Friday threatened California with a potential loss of federal health care funds over the state's requirement that insurance plans cover abortions.

The announcement, timed to coincide with the anti-abortion March for Life in the nation's capital, came hours before President Donald Trump was scheduled to address the marchers in person, becoming the first president to do so. Religious conservatives are a core element of Trump's political coalition, and his administration has gone out of its way to deliver on their demands.

The federal Health and Human Services Department said it is issuing a "notice of violation," giving California 30 days to comply with a federal law known as the Weldon amendment. That law bars federal health care funding from being provided to states or entities that practice "discrimination" against a health care organization on the basis that it "does not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions."

The head of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, Roger Severino, said California is violating that restriction by requiring insurance plans to cover abortions. According to Severino, 28,000 Californians had abortion-free plans prior to the state's requirements and have now lost that option. The federal government has received complaints from an order of nuns — the Missionary Guadalupanas of the Holy Spirit — as well as a church.

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"If states receive federal funds ... they cannot discriminate against a health plan that declines to cover abortions," said Severino.

Severino did not specify which of many streams of federal health care funds amounting to tens of billions of dollars might be in jeopardy for California. That could include money for community health centers, Medicaid health insurance for low-income people, and basic public health activities like educating parents about vaccines.

"Our goal is to seek compliance, and we are going to give them 30 days, so we do not have to cross that bridge," said Severino. Other states could also face federal actions.

Federal law has long barred the use of taxpayer money to pay for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman. That bipartisan consensus could change if a Democrat wins the White House in November, since the Democratic candidates have pledged to take a more assertive stance on abortion rights.

Gavin Newsom crying big:

And from the LA Times:

The Trump administration warned California on Friday that it must stop requiring health insurance plans in the state to provide abortion coverage or risk losing federal money.

The move — the latest clash between the White House and the nation’s largest state — opens a new front in a long-running national debate over whether abortion services must be covered by health insurance.

It threatens to further restrict Californians’ access to abortion services, which must be offered in health plans that cover individuals and employees of small business in the state.

The state’s rules, which broadly parallel regulations in five other states, including New York, Illinois and Washington, do not apply to larger employer plans or to federally funded insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid.

“If California wants to provide abortion services, it can do so,” said Roger Severino, who directs the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services. “What the state is not free to do is force people to pay for other people’s abortions.”

California has 30 days to repeal its abortion mandate, Severino said.

The announcement came as President Trump, who is aggressively courting religious conservatives ahead of his reelection campaign, on Friday became the first sitting president to address the annual March for Life in Washington.

The administration has not detailed which federal funds could be jeopardized by a refusal to comply.

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Access to abortion has long been a bedrock of California health policy, and the state enshrines a right to privacy in its constitution.

But opponents of abortion rights have long chafed at abortion coverage mandates in California and other states, arguing that they force opponents of the procedure to pay for them with their tax or premium dollars, violating their conscience.

California’s rule — issued in 2014 by the state’s managed care department — was challenged by two religious groups: Skyline Wesleyan Church, a large evangelical congregation in La Mesa, Calif., and the Missionary Guadalupana of the Holy Spirit, a Los Angeles order of Catholic nuns.

A lawsuit by the Catholic order was dismissed by a California court.

Severino said the administration determined it would have to step in to protect the conscience rights of the nuns and the church.

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