The Trump administration is moving to enforce against California the Weldon Amendment, which removes federal funding from states that require all health-insurance plans to cover abortion.
The Department of Health and Human Services has issued a notice of violation against California, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said at the Family Research Council’s ProLifeCon Digital Action Summit.
The Weldon Amendment, which has been in every federal HHS appropriations bill since 2005, prohibits federal funds “from going to states that discriminate against any health care entity which does not pay for or provide coverage for abortions.”
FRC said that since California’s abortion coverage mandate took effect in 2014, numerous churches and religious organizations, including Jack Hibbs’s Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, have been forced to cover elective abortion in their health-care plans in direct violation of the Weldon amendment.
Other states have begun following California.
FRC President Tony Perkins welcomed the Trump administration’s move.
“I applaud President Trump and Secretary Azar for taking this action against California’s unlawful and discriminatory abortion mandate,” he said. “No person, organization, or healthcare provider should ever be forced by the government to participate in the abhorrent act of abortion.”
The HHS Office for Civil Rights confirmed that states in violation of the Weldon Amendment could be “stripped of federal funding.”
The Wall Street Journal reported the HHS action is “likely to rattle leaders in at least six states, including Oregon, New York and Washington, that also require abortion coverage in private health plans.”