Trump Administration Enforces Law by Blocking California Funding and Suing a Vermont Hospital
(RightWing.org) – If a state or medical entity violates federal law and forces people to support abortion, the federal government has news for them. It’s not acceptable, and it won’t be allowed. On Tuesday, December 16, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced two massive actions: one against California and the other a Vermont Hospital.
President Donald Trump is one of the most, if not the most, pro-life president in modern American history. Over the course of his first term, the administration challenged organizations and states that flaunted federal laws on the controversial procedure. In the late days of his first term, the administration is not holding back.
HHS Cutting Off $200 Million to California Medicaid Funds
In part one of the HHS announcement, it was revealed they are cutting off $200 million in Medicaid funding to California in the first quarter of 2021. The agency said the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) illegally mandated all health care plans to cover abortion “without exclusion or limitation.” If the state doesn’t comply, HHS says it will continue the quarterly withholding until it does.
According to HHS, employer groups that cover 28,000 policies opted out of abortion provisions prior to the abortion mandate. They were forced to purchase policies that included the procedure, even if it was against their wishes. The mandate violates what is known as the Weldon Amendment.
Interestingly enough, California violated the law beginning in 2014 when it passed legislation creating the abortion mandate. Under the Obama administration, the HHS refused to act. Under President Trump, the department has requested compliance numerous times only to be rebuffed by California.
What Is the Weldon Amendment?
In July of 2004, Congress passed the Weldon Amendment named after former Rep. Dave Weldon (R-FL). At the time, Weldon was concerned about people in the medical profession being forced to provide or support abortion practices against their conscience.
The Weldon Amendment is considered an extension of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortion. It specifically states that a state or local government that receives funds from the federal government for medical care (i.e., Medicare and Medicaid) cannot discriminate against “health care entities” that don’t support abortion.
Like the Hyde Amendment, the law is passed with every new term in Congress.
University of Vermont Medical Center Referred to the Department of Justice (DOJ)
In a separate case of blatant anti-discrimination, the University of Vermont Medical Center allegedly violated what’s called the “Church Amendment.” It’s alleged the hospital forced a nurse to participate in an elective abortion procedure against the nurse’s stated conscience.
The Church Amendment was enacted in the 1970s to protect the conscience rights of those who decline to assist or perform in abortion or sterilization procedures due to moral or religious convictions.
As a result of the medical center’s actions, the DOJ is suing the hospital system based on the HHS referral. A press release from the DOJ says that no health care worker should be forced to participate in an abortion against their “religious beliefs or moral convictions.”
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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