Trump administration removes more abortion protections; Ivey responds


Gov. Kay Ivey, seen here on Monday, Jan.15, 2018 in Montgomery, on Friday voiced her support of President Donald Trump's actions on abortion. / Photo: Governor's Office, Hal Yeager

MONTGOMERY – The Trump administration on Friday further solidified its stance on fighting abortion, announcing two changes to Obama-era policies on the same day President Donald Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to address Washington’s annual March for Life anti-abortion demonstration. Gov. Kay Ivey applauded Trump’s actions.

CNBC reported: “The first was a new regulation that further underscored protections for health-care workers who refuse to perform abortions and other medical procedures because of religious and moral objections.

“The second rescinded a formal warning issued by the Obama administration in 2016 to all state Medicaid directors reminding them that they could not cut funding to Planned Parenthood just because that group offers abortion services.

“However, the rescission of that warning does not affect the existing federal law barring Medicaid directors from taking such actions.

“The moves came a day after the Health and Human Services Department announced it was creating a new "Conscience and Religious Freedom Division" within its Office of Civil Rights.”

Ivey’s office quickly released a response to the announced changes.

“President Trump is following through on his promise to ease the burden of federal regulations on state Medicaid programs. By rolling back overreaching, Obama-era policies, states will be able to ensure that state Medicaid dollars are not paid to abortion providers,” said Ivey in a prepared statement. “This is a big win for states to ensure that tax dollars are not used to fund abortion or abortion-related services.

Ivey continued, “I am thankful that President Trump and his Administration will put a greater focus on investigating claims of religious discrimination. Religious liberty is a hallmark characteristic of our nation, and each American has the right not to just hold religious beliefs, but to act upon them. The First Amendment clearly protects our right to exercise our faith; I am proud that we now have a president who is willing to ensure these rights are protected.”

"Today's actions represent promises kept by President Trump and a rollback of policies that had prevented many Americans from practicing their profession and following their conscience at the same time," said Acting Health and Human Services Sec. Eric Hargan.

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