The Trump Administration on Friday threatened to withhold federal funds from California unless it drops a requirement for private insurers to cover abortions.
According to the federal Health and Human Service Department, a 2014 California regulation that requires employers and insurers to offer abortion coverage violates a federal discrimination law. Officials with the administration say California has 30 days to drop the regulation, but they did not specify which federal funds, or when it might withhold those funds.
The warning to California is also serving as a heads up for other states that have similiar requirements on the books.
The announcement comes as President Donald Trump addressed thousands of pro-life demonstrators gathered at a March for Life rally that marked the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom dismissed the threat by the Trump administration as an attempt to score "cheap political points."
"The Trump administration would rather rile up its base to score cheap political points and risk access to care for millions than do what’s right. California will continue to protect a woman’s right to choose, and we won’t back down from defending reproductive freedom for everybody — full stop.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra wrote on Twitter that California would defend the regulation.
“The President & VP are once again attacking women’s health in order to grandstand at today’s anti-choice rally," Becerra wrote. He added: “While it’s unfortunate that the President’s moral compass always points to sowing division for cheap political gain, California won’t be deterred. We will fight this by any means necessary."
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