The Trump administration cut California healthcare funding by $200 million over abortions
On Wednesday, the Trump administration announced it was cutting $200 million in
California federal healthcare funds because the state requires insurance companies to cover abortions.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said it would withdraw Medicaid funds in the current fiscal quarter beginning in January, and the department will slash a further $200 million every fiscal quarter "if the state does not come into compliance"
Earlier this year the administration warned California that it could lose federal funds over a 2014 law forcing employers and private health providers to pay for abortions.
The Department of Health and Human Services determined that the state was violating a federal antidiscrimination law, known as the Weldon Amendment, that protects insurers from being forced to provide abortion coverage, the department said in a statement.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in the statement that California had violated federal conscience laws and refused to take corrective action. "So we are now taking action to hold them to account," he said.
The office of Gov. Gavin Newsom criticized the move as an attempt "to score cheap political points," saying in an emailed comment Wednesday it "will continue to stand up for reproductive health and push back against this extreme presidential overreach."
President-elect Joe Biden's incoming administration could revoke the decision. California's attorney general, Xavier Becerra, a proponent of reproductive rights, was nominated by Biden to lead the Health and Human Services department.