Smith Applauds Administration Enforcement of Pro-Life Conscience Protections
Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, applauded the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announcement today that it may withhold funding from California if the state continues to require all insurance companies to cover elective abortion. HHS determined that California is in violation of federal law—known as the Weldon Amendment—which prevents federal funding to recipients that discriminate against health care providers that decline to provide, pay for, or refer for abortion.
Smith, who spoke at the March for Life rally after President Trump, said: “President Trump is robustly enforcing America’s conscience laws, including the Weldon Amendment, to ensure that no health care professional and no organization or entity is coerced into paying for or participating in the killing of an unborn child.” Click here to read or watch Smith’s remarks.
The Administration noted that this mandate deprived over 28,000 people of plans that did not cover elective abortion.
“By announcing enforcement action this week,” said Smith, “the Trump Administration is defending the many employers and citizens in California who have been prevented for more than five years from purchasing a private health plan that doesn’t fund abortion on demand.”
Congressman Smith called on Congress to continue the progress made by the Trump Administration.
“Under President Barack Obama, the Office for Civil Rights absolutely refused to enforce the law when California issued the abortion mandate,” Smith said. “Congress must establish a private right of action so that victims of abortion discrimination, like the employers and residents of California, can assert their rights and resist coercion.”
Rep. Smith is a cosponsor of HR 2014, the Conscience Protection Act of 2019, which passed the House of Representatives in previous congresses. The bill would guarantee a private right of action for victims of abortion discrimination.