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-California: Churches Suing Over Forced Abortion Coverage

by Dr. D ~ October 19th, 2015

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In 2014 the State of California mandated that all health insurance in the state include coverage for elective abortion. It wasn’t initially clear that the new rule applied to churches but apparently California is now trying to force all churches and religious institutions to comply to the new ruling. So the lawsuits begin, here’s the story from the Blaze:

A group of California churches filed a federal lawsuit Friday against the California Department of Managed Health Care — the agency that mandated churches must pay for elective abortions in their health insurance coverage.

The lawsuit — filed Friday by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian conservative legal firm — contends that the mandate is “unsupported” and “unnecessary.” It lists as plaintiffs: Calvary Chapel Chino Hills in Chino, Foothill Church in Glendora and The Shepard of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch.

“Churches should not be forced to pay for the killing of innocent human life,” ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley said in a statement. “The government has no right to demand that church health insurance plans contain coverage for abortion – something that violates these churches’ most sincerely held religious beliefs. California is violating the Constitution by strong-arming churches into having this coverage in their plans.”

<Read the whole article>

Response: This would seem to be a reach for the State in regards to the strictures of the First Amendment. However, it is obvious to all that the current legal understanding of the Freedom of Religion in America is now in flux and past decisions and traditions may no longer apply.

This state requirement goes beyond the Obama HHS Mandate which was trying to force contraceptive and abortifacient coverage on businesses including religious institutions. The Supreme Court has already denied the HHS mandate in a number of landmark cases.

But this case is even more radical and a greater intrusion on religious freedom and conscience since it includes churches and coverage for abortion for any reason. The churches should prevail if the First Amendment still means anything. If not, then you can look for civil disobedience over this issue. Several pastors have already stated that regardless of any legal ruling they have no intention to comply with the state on this issue.             *Top

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