WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – On Friday with the March for Life as a backdrop, the Trump administration demanded California drop its requirement that all private health insurers in the state cover abortions.
“You do not force people to violate their conscience when it comes to the taking of a human life,” Department of Health and Human Services Roger Severino said.
Severino heads the Civil Rights Division of the DHHS.
His office sent California a notice demanding they change their policy within 30 days, calling the requirement a violation of civil rights.
“You cannot discriminate against people who don’t want to perform abortions,” Severino said.
“I disagree with that,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said.
Feinstein says the California law guarantees women the option to have an abortion if they feel it’s necessary.
“I don’t think the government should regulate a woman’s reproductive system. I think her faith might play a more reasonable role than the government,” Feinstein said.
If California doesn’t change its abortion coverage law, the Trump administration says it will cut federal funding to the state and potentially file a lawsuit.
But state officials have already said they’ll continue to defend a woman’s right to choose.
Several other states have similar laws to California’s.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker says taking states’ rights away is the wrong approach.
“So if your goal, Mr. President, is to lower rates of abortion in this country, don’t take away women’s rights. Give them access to health care. Give them access to family planning,” Booker said.
So far, California is the only state to receive the Trump administration warning.