'We are putting California on notice that it must 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.'
The Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today that California is violating federal law by trying to force churches to pay for abortions.
The announcement comes the morning of the 47th annual March for Life, at which President Donald Trump is slated to speak. He will be the first U.S. president to ever attend the march, which is the largest human rights demonstration in the world.
A lengthy legal battle has been underway since 2014, when California enacted regulations forcing all employers to pay for health insurance plans that cover elective abortions, regardless of religious or moral objections to funding abortion deaths.
Under these regulations, all abortions are considered “basic health care” and “medically necessary.” Churches were not even informed when abortion coverage was added to their health plans, according to Alliance Defending Freedom.
The HHS Office for Civil Rights announced that it issued a Notice of Violation to the state of California, formally notifying the Golden State that it cannot impose universal abortion coverage mandates on health insurance plans and issuers in violation of federal conscience laws.
California has deprived over 28,000 people of plans that did not cover elective abortion, but now must cover abortion due to California’s mandate, according to HHS.
“With this Notice, OCR requests that California inform OCR, within thirty days, whether California will continue to enforce its requirement that all health plans cover elective abortions, or whether it will agree to take corrective action and remedy the effect of its discriminatory conduct,” HHS said in a press release.
If, after 30 days, OCR does not receive sufficient assurance that California will come into compliance with federal law, OCR will forward the Notice of Violation and the evidence supporting OCR’s findings in this matter to the HHS funding components from which California receives funding for appropriate action under applicable grants and contracts regulations. This action may ultimately result in limitations on continued receipt of certain HHS funds.