The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today that it will withhold $200 million in federal funds from California because the state refuses to comply with federal laws prohibiting discrimination against health care funding sources that decline to pay for abortion. California requires all insurance policies to include coverage for abortion on demand without any restrictions, on the premise that all abortions are “medically necessary.” This extremist mandate violates conscience protections for companies and organizations that provide health insurance coverage. Such protections have been included in the federal appropriations bill every year since 2005.
Since the California abortion mandate was created in 2014, Life Legal has worked with churches and individuals trying to recover their right not to pay for abortion with their insurance premiums. Abortion is the killing of an innocent human being and federal law prohibits states from forcing entities to be complicit in this reprehensible practice.
“This action by HHS tells California that it is not exempt from federal law, particularly when it takes federal money,” said Life Legal’s Chief Legal Officer Catherine Short. “The state should not be playing political games with health care law.”
HHS will continue to strip California of $200 million in federal funding per quarter until it complies with the law.