Amidst the president’s historic in-person speech at the March For Life in Washington, DC, the Trump administration has put one of the most liberal states in the country on notice: Stop forcing insurance providers to cover abortion, or risk financial consequences.
“Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), announced an action to protect human life and the conscience rights of all Americans,” said the office in a statement.
The statement serves as a formal notification to California “that it cannot impose universal abortion coverage mandates on health insurance plans and issuers in violation of federal conscience laws,” reads the statement.
If the state refuses to comply with the government’s mandate after 30 days, the Trump administration has declared that it will take steps to prevent California from using HHS funds. It’s currently unclear what specific funds would be at risk.
According to statements reviewed by the New York Times, California leaders have reacted to the decision with indignance.
“The Trump Administration would rather rile up its base to score cheap political points and risk access to care for millions than do what’s right,” said California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who mentioned a previous federal opinion that agreed with his stance. “California will continue to protect a woman’s right to choose, and we won’t back down from defending reproductive freedom for everybody — full stop.”
Xavier Becerra, California’s attorney general, revealed in a statement on Twitter that he would “fight this by any means necessary,” reports the news agency.
Roger Severino, the director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services, has implied that this decision may just be the beginning of a trend.
“We’re sending a message that if any state has done what California has done, they should expect to be found likewise in violation,” said Severino, reports the news agency
“No one in America should be forced to pay for or cover other people’s abortions,” announced Severino in a press release. “Stop forcing people of good will to subsidize the taking of human life, not only because it’s the moral thing to do, but because it’s the law.”
Alex Azar, the secretary for HHS, also lauded the decision, noting how it delivers on the Trump administration’s “promise to protect human life and all Americans’ freedom of conscience.”
“Under President Trump, HHS has been vigorously enforcing the statutes Congress passed to protect Americans’ consciences and institutionalizing these protections within the department’s civil rights work,” continues Azar.
As the Daily Wire previously reported, President Trump announced Friday that he would work together with conservatives to champion the pro-life cause as a “voice for the voiceless,” and hammered Democrats for promoting abortion.
“Together we are the voice for the voiceless, when it comes to abortion Democrats, and you know this, you’ve seen what’s happened, Democrats have embraced the most radical and extreme positions taken and seen in this country for years and decades and you could even say for centuries,” Trump announced in front of tens of thousands of pro-life advocates gathered in the capital. “Nearly every top Democrat in Congress now supports taxpayer-funded abortion all the way up until the moment of birth.”
“Senate Democrats even blocked legislation that would give medical care to babies who survived attempted abortions and that’s why I’ve called on Congress, two of our great senators here, so many of our congressmen here, and called upon them to defend the dignity of life and to pass legislation prohibiting late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in their mother’s womb,” said Trump.