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
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
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)