By Peter Sullivan
Republican lawmakers are accusing the Obama administration of failing to enforce abortion law, pointing to an investigation that remains unfinished more than a year after it began.
GOP lawmakers and faith groups have protested California’s requirement that all health insurance plans cover abortion, arguing the requirement violates the federal Weldon Amendment. That provision protects health insurance plans from discrimination if they decline to cover abortions.
The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR), which is charged with enforcing the Weldon Amendment, said in December 2014 that it had opened an investigation into the state of California’s actions after the California Catholic Conference filed a complaint.
But more than a year later, no findings have been released.
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell was asked about the situation at two separate congressional hearings in February 2015. She said that while she had to let the investigation run its course, she had asked the investigators to move “expeditiously.”
“The Office of Civil Rights knows this is an important issue, as you have said, and that time is of the essence,” Burwell told lawmakers.
That was 11 months ago.