STATEMENT: Latest Trump Administration Attack on Abortion Access Will Hurt Women and Curtail State Flexibility in Health Care

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Trump administration moved to inhibit California from expanding abortion access to its citizens. Since 2014, California has required employers and insurance companies to include abortion as a covered benefit. Until today, California’s law has been federally permitted, but the administration has reversed course, threatening to withhold California’s federal funds over the state’s law. This announcement comes on the same day that President Donald Trump becomes the first sitting U.S. president to address the anti-abortion March for Life crowd in person.

Jamille Fields Allsbrook, director of women’s health and rights at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement: 

Today’s announcement is just the latest move in the administration’s unending effort to take away access to reproductive health care, including abortion, and ultimately to control women’s bodily autonomy. This rollback comes days after the Trump administration took the unprecedented step toward allowing Texas to use federal funds to discriminate against trusted family planning providers—including but not limited to Planned Parenthood—undermining patients’ access to sexual and reproductive health care. Today’s announcement also comes a month after the administration finalized a rule that is aimed at forcing insurers to drop abortion coverage by imposing unnecessary, onerous administrative requirements on insurers and consumers. These three actions are among many this administration has taken over the course of the past three years to target reproductive health care.

California, along with Oregon, New York, Washington, Illinois, and Maine, have elected to recognize that abortion is health care—and they have determined that the service should be treated as such in insurance coverage.

For an administration that claims to respect states’ rights, today’s move by the Office for Civil Rights is explicitly aimed at undermining those rights.

Related resources:

How the U.S. Health Insurance System Excludes Abortion” by Anusha Ravi

Rhetoric vs. Reality: How Abortion Bans Hurt Women” by Anusha Ravi and Jamila Taylor

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at cseeberger@americanprogress.org or 202.741.6292.