President Barack Obama (photo credit: Marc Nozell via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Obama Admin Completely Ignores Federal Law in Abortion Insurance Case


President Barack Obama (photo credit: Marc Nozell via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)
President Barack Obama (photo credit: Marc Nozell via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Two years ago, the California Department of Managed Care informed state health insurance providers that they could no longer offer health plans that excluded abortion coverage, even if the employers offering those plans had religious objections to abortion.

A number of groups immediately challenged the rule on the grounds that it violated federal law, expecting an easy, open-and-shut case. However, after sitting on the complaint for more than two years, Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services finally decreed last week that California’s edict was in fact completely legal, inviting immediate charges that the administration is “making a mockery of the law.”

The accusation is not without merit. According to HHS, California’s order requiring health insurance plans to cover abortions does not run afoul of the Weldon Amendment because none of the insurers subject to the order had a “religious or moral objection to that procedure.” However, as has been pointed out elsewhere, this completely ignores the actual text of the Weldon Amendment, which bars states which receive federal funding from “subject[ing] any individual or institutional health care entity to discrimination on the basis that the health care entity does not provide for, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.” Whether or not the health care entity has a “religious or moral objection” is completely irrelevant.

But the actual text of laws seems to matter increasingly less to the current administration. Just consider the Department of Education’s recent edict to public schools decreeing that Title IX’s ban on sex discrimination also applies to “gender identity,” even though the latter concept appears nowhere in that statute. Or consider the administration’s attempt to rewrite the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) by changing its interpretation of various terms, which has effectively gutted FERPA’s protections of student privacy.

Indeed, laws presently seem to hold very little weight with President Obama and his like-minded progressive friends. Rather than going through the difficult and time-consuming process of actually working to pass laws, they seem much more content to simply reinterpret or ignore current law as they see fit.

While this may be an efficient way to press through an agenda, it sets a very dangerous precedent, one which threatens the very foundation of the rule of law itself.

Paul Dupont is the managing editor for

Paul Dupont

Paul Dupont is editor of

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