Trump administration blocks funding for California, brings DOJ suit over abortion issues

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The Trump administration announced two key actions Wednesday designed to protect entities that sought to avoid supporting abortion.

Both announcements addressed longstanding issues handled by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights. In a press release Wednesday, HHS said it would block $200 million in federal Medicaid funds slated for California “due to the state illegally mandating that all health care plans subject to regulation by the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) cover abortion without exclusion or limitation.”

It also said it referred a case to the Justice Department involving a nurse who was allegedly forced to assist in an elective abortion. DOJ announced on Wednesday that it would bring a suit against the University of Vermont Medical Center over the issue.

“California and the University of Vermont Medical Center have violated federal conscience laws and refused to work with us to take corrective action, so we are now taking action to hold them to account,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said.

Roger Severino, who leads the department’s Office of Civil Rights, said: “Whatever one thinks of the legality of abortion, no one should be punished for declining to pay for or assist in the taking of human life.” – READ MORE

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