The Administration’s Attempt to Punish CA over Abortion Access

The Trump Administration is trying to bully California into decimating abortion access in the state. California has long required insurers to cover basic health care services, and in 2014 the state clarified that reproductive health care — including abortion care — is basic health care. With exceptions for some religiously-affiliated insurance companies, health plans in the state cannot treat abortion differently than other pregnancy-related care.

The Administration is now claiming that California’s policy violates the Weldon Amendment – a federal rule prohibiting local, state, and federal governments from requiring health care entities to cover, provide, or refer to abortion services. It doesn’t make sense. The Administration is singling out California – one of six states with this abortion coverage requirement. What’s more, this issue has already been decided! The Obama Administration rejected a similar challenge to California’s policy in 2016.

This is a pathetic attempt to punish the state of California for respecting the human right to health care. In the process, the Administration is threatening health care access for millions. Californians will not be bullied. We will not accept subpar plans denying people the full range of reproductive health care options. We will not accept insurance companies interfering in medical decision-making and reproductive freedom. Learn more from the resources below.

Factsheets and Resources

California Sets Example for Comprehensive Women’s Health Care Coverage

Notice of Violation from HHS and CA Response Letter (PDF)

Weldon Amendment, Consolidated Appropriations Act. HHS

Opinions, Blog, Commentary

HHS Issues Notice of Violation to California for its Abortion Coverage Mandate. HHS Press Release

Abortion is Basic Health Care. Phyllida Burlingame, ACLU NorCal

Trump’s Attack on Abortion Coverage in California Puts Politics Over Health. Dr. Jessica Beaman

Attorney General Becerra Issues Response to Trump Administration’s Baseless Allegations of Weldon Violation. Press Release.

From 2004: Attorney General Lockyer Readies Court Challenge to Fight Federal Attack on Women’s Right to Choose. Press Release. (with Pelosi and Boxer quotes)

News Articles

Trump administration threatens funds to California over the requirement that health plans cover abortion.

Trump administration threatens to cut health funding for California over abortion insurance law

The battle over abortion rights: Here’s what’s at stake in 2020

Editorial: Trump seeks a new fight with California on abortion

Trump threatens to cut California funding over abortion coverage

Separation of Abortion Payments in the Marketplaces

The Trump Administration is trying to make it more complicated and burdensome for health plans to cover abortion care. The rule impacts qualified health plans – health plans that are on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace and include ACA protections, such as the essential health benefits and potential subsidies.

Federal policies, such as the Hyde Amendment, prohibit federal funds from covering abortion except in the limited circumstances. States, however, can allow or require health plans to cover the abortion care that pregnant people need.  When that happens, insurers have to collect at least $1 per month as a premium covering abortion services. They then keep that $1 separate from the rest of the premium to ensure no federal funds are used for abortion services.

This rule takes that separation requirement to the point of absurdity. It requires insurers to send enrollees two separate bills – one for the abortion part of the premium and another for the rest of the coverage. Apparently it’s not enough for the insurer to separate the funds, now the enrollee must send two checks.The rule is dangerous. It stigmatizes abortion care, making it seem separate from other basic health care services. It could lead to confusion and people losing health care coverage. Additionally, the administrative and reporting burden will likely raise costs, leading to higher premiums or encouraging health insurance plans to drop abortion coverage all together. The rule goes into effect June 27, 2020 unless it is stopped in the courts first.

No Cost-Sharing for Abortions

The Trump administration is trying to chip away our access to basic health care — across the U.S. and in California specifically. Advocates and lawmakers in the state are not having it. Instead we have been working hard to enact progressive policies that advance reproductive freedom. One specific bill in the 2020 legislative session would eliminate insurance and deductibles for abortion services across the state. The bill would remove a significant barrier to care for people in California, ensuring that access to abortion services will not depend on how much money you have.


The ACA And Abortion Coverage

Title X

Domestic Gag Rule

Strategies for Action

Resources and Information in support of mobilization efforts to protect Title X. Compiled by CCRF HealthCare Coverage Cmte. 


Constituent Engagement

  • Planned Parenthood. Take a minute to submit a comment to stop Trump-Pence from demolishing access to preventive and reproductive care.
  • National Partnership for Women & Families. Submit a comment
  • Stop Trump’s Gag Rule. Generation Progress and Center for American Progress. Target audience: Young People. Factsheets, social media tools, and a comment submission portal.   

Published Rules   

  • Federal Registry. Statutory Requirements of Title X of the Public Health Service Act and the Title X Appropriations Acts. Agency: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of the Secretary, HHS. Comments Close 07/31/2018.

The Basics

Title X in CA 

The Impact  

  • Impact of Family Planning Legislation. The University of Texas at Austin Texas Policy Evaluation Project. TxPEP link to their research on the impact of Family Planning legislation (includes all articles/press releases/briefs)

Specific articles and press releases that provide evidence of the impact of restricting Title X funding:  

Press Releases / Statements 

Federal Funding / Appropriations

Family Separation

Family Separation

The Trump administration’s ‘zero-tolerance’ immigration policy separated children from their parents, relatives, or other adults accompanying them in crossing the border.

The children were torn from their families whether they were apprehended during an illegal crossing, or were legally presenting themselves for asylum.

Ending women’s right to abortion

Opinion by CCRF Member, Katrina Cantrell, Executive Director, Women’s Health Specialists

We are fed up. Over the past decade,  the assault on women’s reproductive rights has accelerated rapidly. Today, in a devastating 5-4 decision the Trump Administration’s stealthy engineered Supreme Court’s majority of misogynistic males and corporate lackeys voted in favor of predatory faith-based pregnancy “clinics” to coerce and misinform women seeking pregnancy options. This ruling will have a devastating impact on American women and their families for generations to come.

Today’s decision, however, only adds to the multiple aggressions the Republican party has been systematically crafting to undermine and threaten women’s hard-won right to self-determination over our own bodies. Let’s just look back to last month’s “gag rule”, which will prevent patients from obtaining birth control or preventive care from reproductive health care providers like Women’s Health Specialists in rural CA or Planned Parenthood, nationally — effectively silencing doctors, nurses and hospitals from referring patients for abortion and providing life-saving information on a legal medical procedure and violating medical ethics.

We cannot shrink from these attacks against women — as our right to abortion and contraception, is chipped away in the states and now in federal law by the Supreme Court, anti-choice extremists are approaching their ultimate goal: Ending women’s right to abortion.

With Roe v. Wade in the crosshairs of the most powerful assault on women’s rights in our lifetime, we must stand strong and stand together.

For over 40 years, Women’s Health Specialists in Northern California has stood up for women’s reproductive rights – surviving multiple arson and chemical attacks, ongoing threats, vandalism and harassment on a daily basis. As an independent reproductive health clinic,  we realize that this moment in history is the crucial step that will ensure or doom the hard-won reproductive freedom our foremothers fought for.

Women’s Health Specialists calls on women and our allies across the country to resist the Administration’s misogynistic, fascist assault on women’s bodily integrity and independence. Pledge to support your local women’s clinic — volunteer, spread the word, advocate for safe spaces. Help to get out the vote and pledge to hold candidates accountable to preserve women’s full reproductive rights — from contraception to abortion. Stand up and speak out — together.

Let’s seize this moment and flood the HALLS of power and the STREETS to protect our right to choose. And in the future, when we look back on this crisis, we’ll remember where we stood and what we stood for — and so will our daughters and granddaughters.


Medical Assistant (La Puente)

East Valley Community Health Center
Location : La Puente CA US
East Valley Community Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) serving the East San Gabriel and Pomona valleys for the past 47 years….

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