FRC applauds HHS pro-life action to enforce Conscience Protection Laws

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Hours before President Donald Trump made history as the first president to appear in person at the March for Life, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar announced at Family Research Council’s ProLifeCon that the agency is taking more pro-life actions. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at HHS has enforced the Weldon amendment by issuing a notice of violation against California for their mandate forcing every health insurance carrier to cover elective abortion. The Weldon Amendment, which has passed in every federal HHS appropriations bill since 2005, prohibits federal funds from going to states that discriminate against any health care entity which does not pay for or provide coverage for abortions.

Since California’s abortion coverage mandate took effect in 2014, numerous churches and religious organizations like Pastor Jack Hibbs’s church, Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, have been forced to cover elective abortion in their healthcare plans in direct violation of the Weldon amendment.

Other states like Illinois have imitated California’s abortion coverage mandate, putting even more health insurance providers at risk of being accused of discrimination for not wanting abortion coverage.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments:

“I applaud President Trump and Secretary Azar for taking this action against California's unlawful and discriminatory abortion mandate.

“No person, organization, or healthcare provider should ever be forced by the government to participate in the abhorrent act of abortion.

“The Trump administration is continuing its march to protect the freedom to believe and live one’s life according to those beliefs without fear of discrimination by the government,” concluded Perkins.

Connor Semelsberger, Legislative Assistant at Family Research Council, added:

“When it comes to enforcing federal conscience protection laws, the comparison between the Obama and Trump administrations is not even close. While the Obama administration failed to enforce the Weldon amendment at all in 2016, the Trump administration has issued at least four notices of violation (two of them against California) through the HHS OCR since taking office, showing just how seriously this administration views its role in protecting conscience rights for all Americans.”

To see which states have abortion coverage mandates and whether your health plan covers elective abortion, see our Obamacare Abortion Project at