Medicaid Money Being Withheld From California for Bucking Federal Law

President Trump listens to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

Forcing people to pay for abortions is about to cost California—in dollars. While the legal war has raged since 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday that it will withhold $200 million in federal funds from the state for forcing all employers, including churches, to pay for elective abortions in their health insurance plans.

California requires all insurance policies to include coverage for abortion on demand without any restrictions. Its guidelines consider all abortions "medically necessary."

This mandate violates conscience protections for companies and organizations which provide health insurance coverage, according to Life Legal Defense Foundation. Such protections have been included in the federal appropriations bill every year since 2005.

HHS also announced that it will continue to strip California of $200 million in federal funding per quarter until it complies with the law.

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."

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