Statement Responding to HHS Decision on California Abortion Mandate
Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) and Representatives Chris Smith (NJ-04), Diane Black (TN-06), John Fleming (LA-04), Andy Harris (MD-01), Vicky Hartzler (MO-04), Steve Knight (CA-25), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), and Joe Pitts (PA-16) released the following statement on the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) unbelievable determination that the California Department of Managed Health Care’s decision to require abortion coverage in statewide insurance plans did not violate the Weldon Amendment:
“The California abortion mandate on its face violates the plain text of the Weldon Amendment, which protects health care entities that do not participate in abortion against government-imposed discrimination. The text of Weldon—which has been renewed and signed into law annually for over 10 years—makes it clear that a ‘health care entity’ includes health insurance plans.
“The Department of Health and Human Services’ conclusion that California’s action does not violate the Weldon amendment ignores the simple truth that requiring a health plan to cease to exist because it does not include abortion is discriminatory.
“Today, House Republicans met with HHS Secretary Burwell to express our outrage and bewilderment at the Administration’s tortuous legal reinterpretation of the Weldon Amendment that led to this conclusion. House Republicans believe that the Weldon Amendment, and all federal laws, must be enforced. HHS’s false interpretation and refusal to enforce federal law forces the House to explore all legislative options to protect the rights of health care providers in California and across our country who do not wish to participate in a practice that takes the lives of unborn children.”